Designing a visual experience as a form of content marketing

A duck on a ledge says what?

happy duck

I took this photo after reading this Mashable article which discusses, in part, how “visual storytelling” is an emerging marketing trend. What’s the story behind the duck? Did I, via the duck picture, add to the narrative of this Norwegian brand? With the debut and popularity of Pinterest and Instagram, brands are rethinking their presence and how they deliver an experience based around sharable visual imagery.

In addition to discussing this marketing trend, the Mashable article delved into the overall issue of “designed experience”. The article discussed many of the benefits of incorporating “designed experience” and “web beautification” principles into app development and marketing. Yet the article offered little guidance on how to kick-start such an initiative. Luckily, I found this research which offers such guidance. Key take-aways include:

  • Understand that effective personas describe a mentality and behavior not an actual person, they are archetypes
  • Personas do not equate to market segmentation but define attitudes and behaviors and, thus, help designers in generating ideas and solutions
  • Effective personas focus on a single purpose (effective apps do so too)

Finally, the research article points out that when applying personas in the design process, product/service developers and managers should develop a task flow for a particular persona. This task flow is a critical step in the process because it defines user engagement points and an optimal sequence of steps a user may take. If designers/developers understand the optimal sequence of tasks, they can improve design elements to make it easier for users to accomplish tasks; this equates to a better experience.

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