Day two at SXSW highlighted a clear trend towards ‘humanising’ how we experience technology and showcased the need to continually empathise with the end user to create lasting success. EJ Granleese, managing partner of History Will Be Kind and Jono Butler, creative strategist at Deepend share their insider findings on this behavioural shift from three events.
The Future of Media Companies: Frank Cooper, CMO and CCO of BuzzFeed, argued that in today’s mobile and social environment, the primary driver for audience engagement is human connection. “Empathy and human connection are the superpowers for building large audiences,” he said.
Service Safari – Observation for Design Insight: This four hour interactive workshop was a hands on guide to ‘observing your prey in the wild’. Or, in other words, a style of ethnographic research to observe your users behaviour in the environment they actually use the product or service. The key take out from the UX team at Spotlight, who hosted the workshop, was to always be sociable and use any opportunity to make connections before and during the research. This is where the true gems of user insight lie.
Massive Online Experiments: Industry and academic experts from Stanford University, Microsoft Research, Google and the Association for Computing Machinery, provided practical advice on how to design and conduct online experiments without upsetting users in the process of improving their experience. In the face of A/B testing, panellist Elizabeth Churchill, Director of UX at Google, emphasised that companies must “humanise the data” and “design the experiments as you design the experience.”
Other activity: Live streaming services such as Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Amazon Twitch got a lot of love from the marketers at BMW, GE and Mashable who discussed the benefits and risks of live social content.
Content insight: Digitalcontent is less about how frequently it is distributed and more about the story and the value you’re adding to your user’s life.
Crystal ball moment: Brands are going to expand their live content offering. For example, Mashable announced the company is exploring the possibility of a regular series using live streaming.
Just on the horizon: GE will live stream behind the scenes footage of the Rio Olympics in June.
Also on the horizon: BuzzFeed will launch Swarm, a 360 advertising offering across its multiple channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat and YouTube, as well as the main website.
Strategy FTW: There is no magic formula for going viral. The best you can do is identify patterns.
Eye boggling statistic: There are only 2.3 degrees of separation on Facebook and we spend 1 of every 5 minutes each day on Facebook or Instagram.
Today’s buzzwords: Authentic (yet again), unique, immediacy, scale, exclusive, delight, spontaneity, brand equity and natural behaviour.
Dirty bird: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, great for brunch.
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