Executive Summary – Usability testing

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Connecticut Family Orthopedics offers a variety of orthopedic care to its patients including urgent care, surgery and physical therapy. The website provides patient information about the practice to existing patients as well as potential patients. The current site offers access to the patient portal, request an appointment and information about the team. There are a lot of useful resources but needs updating for a better user experience. Usability testing was conducted taking a deep look into the design, functionality, navigation, and content. Recommendations for a website redesign are included. The analysis concludes that several improvements can be made to meet the users’ needs.

Methods of Evaluation

The executive summary contains the following items that show where the current website design can improve and analysis on users’ wants, needs and expectations:

·       Competitor analysis

·       Personas and scenarios

·       A proposed interview study

·       A proposed website user survey

·       A card sorting study

·       A proposed diary study

·       Heuristic website evaluation

·       Usability testing sessions report

Analysis Results

The competitive analysis shows that the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website is similar to the other practice’s websites from a content perspective. From a design perspective, there are some areas which the other sites are doing better, such as how the competitors sites have subtle tones such as grey with blue headings and a much smaller heading image. Connecticut Family Orthopedics had the longest navigation bar with 8 drop down categories with several sub topics under each. These should be consolidated with stronger categories to make them easier to navigate and moving the main navigation up to the top of the page. With the main phone number up top, there is no need for the large buttons in the top of the page as most of the information can be easily found in the navigation.

The participants in the card sorting study found the navigation to be lengthy as well as feeling there were too many separate options located at the top of the site. They found it overwhelming and confusing when looking for a particular topic. The lack of a search function also contributed to their frustration. Each participant grouped the topics in 5-6 categories verse the current site having 7 navigation tabs and 6 separate links at the top of the page. Participants had similar suggestions for the categories although different views on topics beneath each category. Based on the results, Connecticut Family Orthopedics should consider consolidating the navigation and eliminating the separate links at the top. The separate links create confusion and overwhelm the user.

Participants in the usability study stated that the website has a lot of useful information for their patients on their site. However, the pages are very busy and unorganized. Too much going on created frustration for the participants. Pages need to be organized in smaller navigation with appropriate naming convention as seen in the card sorting exercise. The design needs to be cleaner and more consistent with a responsive design as well as a usable search function for the user.

The content throughout the site is simply written but without specific information related to each category. Organizing the site with relevant information for each category or topic will create a smoother experience for the user.

Recommendations

Suggestions include reducing the clutter on the home page, adding a search function and making the site responsive. Well defined categories, easier to read content with bulleted lists and condensed images to bring the relevant content above the fold. A cohesive, clean design will need to be deployed across all the website’s pages. Existing content should be reviewed and amended to adhere to digital best practices including accessibility.

  • Accessibility
  • Responsive design
  • Create clean overall design with subtle color variations of blue and grey
  • Condense image size to move content above fold
  • Remove top buttons and place in navigation which will be moved up
  • Consolidate the navigation
  • Rename categories in navigation for ease of use
  • Highlight 2-3 important information topics at top with remaining in condensed navigation
  • Search function to find key topics easily
  • Email sign up for newsletter

Competitor Analysis

A competitive analysis is the analysis of competitors and how the businesses compare. By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of competition, we are able to find a competitive advantage. The Connecticut Family Orthopedic website was compared to competitive practices to assess what is working and what can be improved.  View full analysis

Business and marketing requirements are that the user should be able to easily view the specialties, doctors and access the patient portal for their records as well as to pay their bill. The site needs to be responsive to be viewed easily on laptop, mobile and tablet. They should be able to navigate the site easily to find the different pages and research the facility before visiting. Outpatient services such as therapy should be easy to access and if questions arise, be able to find the contact information quickly.

The Connecticut Family Orthopedics website is similar to the other practice’s websites from a content perspective. From a design perspective, there are some areas which the other sites are doing better, such as how the competitors sites have subtle tones such as grey with blue and a much smaller heading image. Connecticut Family Orthopedics had the longest navigation bar with 8 drop down categories with several sub topics under each. These should be consolidated with stronger categories to make them easier to navigate and moving the main navigation up to the top of the page. With the main phone number up top, there is no need for the large buttons in the top of the page as most of the information can be easily found in the navigation.

Personas and Scenarios

A Persona is a fictional representation of an actual user or perspective patient of Connecticut Family Orthopedics website. These personas will help drive design decisions by viewing common user needs and bringing them to the forefront of planning before design has actually started. In this study, three personas of potential Connecticut Family Orthopedics users were analyzed. The three personas ranged in age and life stages to gain insight of who the user of the website is and what their needs are. View Personas

Interview

Interviews are essential to having a better understanding of the users’ needs. Interview users with a script and questions will help to gain insight in how clients of Connecticut Family Orthopedics interact with the site and what their needs are.

  1. Which features are most important to visitors of Connecticut Family Orthopedics?
  2. How can Connecticut Family Orthopedics improve the navigation and experience for its users?
  3. What would make the website a helpful resource for patients going through orthopedics needs?

View introduction and questions here.

Survey

Surveys were conducted in order to obtain qualitative and quantitative research about Connecticut Family Orthopedics website visitors and how they feel about their experience. This is to get a better understanding of how they interact with the site as well as what they feel is needed for an easier user experience.

View survey questions here.

Diary Study

A Diary Study is important to better understand how users interact with the site. Participants will document their experiences throughout the study rather than a one-time interaction. This useful information from visitors will show what the users’ needs are when visiting the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website.

Questions the study will attempt to answer

  1. What reasons are the users visiting the site and are they finding their needs met?
  2. How easy or difficult do users find the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website to navigate?

Questions and tasks for the participants

Users will be asked a series of questions each week that will help understand the users experience when interacting with the site. Expected questions:

  • Did you visit the Connecticut Family Orthopedics office this week?
  • If so, did you visit the website prior to your appointment?
    • What information were you searching for on the website?
    • Were you able to find this information?
    • What could have been better about this experience?
  • If you did not visit the site this week, is there something that would have been helpful for you on the site prior to your visit?

Amount of people for the study

There will be 15 participants for this study. This would allow for diversity of users, including people of all ages, website ability, and expectations.

How the participants will be chosen

There will be two ways for participates to sign up. One will be in person when they check in at the front desk in office. There will be a flyer with information and fields to fill out for signing up if they are site users. The second will be a pop-up box on the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website when visitors open the website. This pop-up box will invite users to take part in the study, as active users of the site are more likely to participate. As an incentive, participants will be given a $50 Visa gift card at the end of the study.

Additionally, at the end of the study all participates will be invited to part take in a one-time open conversation with other participates as well as office staff. This will help each participant to add to one another’s feedback. Including the office staff will open new conversations about the users’ needs within their care as well as the use of the website in general. Since the site is about the user’s overall heath it will be beneficial to hear from them about their entire experience which leads them to the site. The onetime session will include food and a $25 gift card to an area restaurant.

Methods to be used
The best option to use for this study will be email. The email will remind the participant to engage and answer the questions given for each prompt. The email will have a link that will take them to a landing page with the questions to be easily answered. This can easily be completed from a laptop or mobile device and the answers will be collected.

Potential benefits and drawbacks to this method

Benefit – A benefit to email is many users check their email continuously throughout the day. They can easily click on the link to answer the questions from the email straight from their phone or from the laptop. It’s a quick way to gather data from each user once they respond to the questions on the landing page.

Drawback – A drawback may be if a user does not use email regularly or is easily frustrated by online surveys.

Length of Study

This study will last for six weeks. This will give several entries from the participants each week during the six-week study.

Analysis of Results
The results will be collected and analyzed signal-contingently. The Affinity Diagram will be used to help analyze the data to determine if there are trends in the results. A service provider such as Hyperquality, who is an independent quality assurance firm that provide unbiased monitoring and analysis of customer interactions, can help manage entries. They will provide a platform where the data can be analyzed.

Email sample:

Dear <PARTICIPANT NAME>,

Thank you for taking part in this study to help us improve your online experience with Connecticut Family Orthopedics . You will receive an email at the email address you have provided every week reminding you to submit your answers for the week through a link within the email. Your answers will be analyzed to help Connecticut Family Orthopedics enhance your online visit. The first prompt will begin on Sunday, MONTH XX, 20XX and end when you submit your last entry starting on Sunday, MONTH XX, 20XX. If you have any questions, you may contact us at any time at email@email.com.

Thank you again for your participation,

Connecticut Family Orthopedics

Card Sorting

Card sorting is a method used to help design or evaluate the information architecture of a site. In a card sorting session, participants organize topics into categories that make sense to them and they may also help you label these groups.

Introduction

Total of three participants were used for this study. Participants completed the activity remotely using Optimal Workshop as we viewed the activity together through WebEx.

To begin, was asked two questions related to Connecticut Family Orthopedics and then they will see 30 topics to begin sorting. They are asked to group the topics together in the most natural way to them. Then name the groups in a way that makes sense. Each session is recorded and the participant is asked to read and sign the agreement.

Participants will be directed to the welcome screen:

Welcome to the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website study
Welcome to this study for Connecticut Family Orthopedics, and thank you for agreeing to participate!

This activity shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. Your response will help us to organize the content on Connecticut Family Orthopedics. Find out how on the next page…

Participant questions

Before a planned office appointment, do you visit the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website?

  • Yes
  • No

How many times have you visited the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website this year?

  • More than once a week
  • Once a Month
  • Several Times a Year
  • Once a year or less

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Connecticut Family Orthopedics Card Sorting Data Analysis

Test dates 29 – 30 November 2019

This analysis was based on a remote activity study of 3 participants. The participants were asked to visit the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website before the study. Each participant was given 30 topic cards (pulled from the existing home page) and asked to place the cards in groups. This was conducted through Optimal Workshop and the resulting data was done using similarity matrix.

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The primary issue found was that the navigation was lengthy as well as several separate options were located at the top of the site. The participants found it overwhelming and confusing when looking for a particular topic. The lack of a search function also contributed to the frustration. The card sorting allowed the participant to choose what they felt made sense when they were looking through the topics. Each participant grouped the topics in 5-6 categories verse the current site having 7 navigation tabs and 6 separate links at the top of the page. Participants had similar suggestions for the categories although different views on topics beneath each category. Based on the results, Connecticut Family Orthopedics should consider consolidating the navigation and eliminating the separate links at the top. The separate links create confusion and overwhelm the user.

Usability Inspection – Heuristic Evaluation

Heuristic evaluation is a key part of designing a great product that users can easily engage with and find value in their interaction. It is a thorough assessment of a product’s user interface, and its purpose is to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product, and identify ways to resolve them. The heuristic evaluation process is conducted against a predetermined set of usability principles known as heuristics. The process relies on in-depth tests run by several usability experts at a time.

This heuristic evaluation on the Connecticut Family Orthopedics website was to review specific areas of the website. This evaluation helped to review what is a successful experience for the users. Each heuristic principle is graded on severity.

View Heuristic evaluation

Website Usability Testing Sessions

Usability testing is a method used to evaluate how easy a website is to use to better understand the users experience. The tests take place with real users to measure how ‘usable’ or ‘intuitive’ a website is and how easy it is for users to reach their goals. This testing allows the researcher to observe users go through preset tasks to gather information about experience and length to complete. The information is then used to identify issues and recommend changes for a better overall experience.

Introduction

Three participants were asked to complete five standard website tasks and their experience was viewed using Webex. The usability testing was conducted on the current Connecticut Family Orthopedics website provide data and recommendations for a redesign. Before the usability testing started, they were given an introduction and background questions. Participants were also asked for verbal feedback during and after the meeting. Just before the session began, the participants were emailed the list of tasks and a consent form. A few initial questions were asked of each participant to get them comfortable before starting.

Participants

Participant 1

  • Female
  • Retired – Technology Director
  • 74 years old
  • College Graduate
  • Spends about 10-15 hours per week using the Internet
  • Types of sites usually browsed: travel, shopping
  • Favorite websites: CVS, WebMD, MSN

Participant 2

  • Male
  • Service Director
  • 39 years old
  • College Graduate
  • Spends about 10-15 hours per week using the Internet (not work related)
  • Types of sites usually browsed: Social, entertainment, shopping
  • Favorite websites: Facebook, Amazon

Participant 3

  • Female
  • Communications Director
  • 44 years old
  • College Graduate
  • Spends about 15-20 hours per week using the Internet (not work related)
  • Types of sites usually browsed: Social, news, shopping
  • Favorite websites: Facebook, Sephora, Amazon

Evaluation tasks

  1. You have an appointment with Dr. Gray this week. Locate the office address.
  2. You have just twisted your ankle and need emergency care. Locate the hours the walk in is opened today.
  3. For this task, you want to set up a payment plan. You need to fill out a credit card authorization form. Locate this form for download.
  4. You would like to request and appointment. Locate the area to do this and fill out the contact form.
  5. You are very active on social media and are interested to see if there are any recommendations posted on their pages. Find the Facebook link.

Analysis

Task 1: You have an appointment with Dr. Gray this week. Locate the office address.

Results: Minor difficultly. All participants were looking for a tab in the navigation for location. Two participants went to contact us while the third went to the bottom of the page. The address is located on the bottom of the page and the contact us tab will bring you to a page that has the hours and phone number. This page is shorter in content so the bottom of the page is brought up for the user to see the location. All three participants commented that the location should be clearly marked on the contact us as well as possibly at the top of the page. One participant commented that a search function would help locate hard to find topics.

Task 2: You have just twisted your ankle and need emergency care. Locate the hours the walk in is opened today.

Results: Moderate difficulty. The participants did not know that the urgent care was called OrthoPrompt. They were looking for either urgent care or walk in within the navigation. Once they started clicking around, out of frustration, they were able to figure out that the OrthoPrompt tab was for the urgent care. They were able to locate the hours easily once on the page. The comment was that this should be labeled as urgent care for people in emergency need.

Task 3: For this task, you want to set up a payment plan. First, you need to fill out a credit card authorization form. Locate this form for download. 

Results: Mild difficulty. The participants all went directly to the insurance and billing but hesitated with the dropdown as patient forms. They would look around before heading back to this election and clicking on the patient forms. Once on the page they located the form quickly. The comment was that there should be a billing dropdown for billing specific forms. The page that they were brought to had disclosures, patient forms as well as the authorization form for credit cards.

Task 4: You would like to request and appointment. Locate the area to do this and fill out the contact form.

Results: Easy. All three participates found this at the top of the page. There are two locations on the page to make an appointment, one at the top and the other is in the main navigation. They did question why it was located in two places.

Task 5: You are very active on social media and are interested to see if there are any recommendations posted on their pages. Find the Facebook link.

Results: Easy. All three participants found the social media links with ease. They are located on the bottom of page as seen in most websites. There were no additional comments on this task.

Issues found:

  • Difficulty finding office details
  • Content on pages is lengthy and relevant to current topic
  • Navigation is confusing do to organization, duplications and relevant category topics
  • Address is only located at the footer

Recommendations:

  • Consolidate the navigation
  • Rename categories in navigation for ease of use
  • Create clean overall design
  • Responsive design
  • Highlight 2-3 important information topics at top with remaining in condensed navigation

Recommended navigation:

  • Stay connected
  • Patient Portal
  • Resources
  • Services
  • About us
  • Additionally, at the bottom links for:
    • Newsletter Sign up
    • Social Media links

Conclusion

The Connecticut Family Orthopedics website has a lot of useful information for their patients on their site. However, the pages are very busy and unorganized. Too much going on created frustration for the participants. Pages need to be organized in smaller navigation with appropriate naming convention as seen in the card sorting exercise. The design needs to be cleaner and more consistent with a responsive design as well as a usable search function for the user.

The primary issue found was that the navigation was lengthy as well as several separate options were located at the top of the site. The participants found it overwhelming and confusing when looking for a particular topic. The lack of a search function also contributed to the frustration. Participants had similar suggestions for the categories although different views on topics beneath each category. Based on the results, Connecticut Family Orthopedics should consider consolidating the navigation and eliminating the separate links at the top. The separate links create confusion and overwhelm the user.

 

Usability Testing Session

Usability testing is a method used to evaluate how easy a website is to use from a users’ perspective in order to better understand the users experience. The tests take place with real users to measure how ‘usable’ or ‘intuitive’ a website is and how easy it is for users to reach their goals. This testing allows the researcher to observe users preforming preset tasks to gather information about user experience and length of time to complete each task. The information is then used to identify issues and recommend changes for a better overall experience.

Why is Usability Important?

The goal of usability testing is to identify any usability problems, collect data on participants’ experience such as the time it took to complete the task as well as determine overall user satisfaction on the website. If a website is too difficult to navigate or does not articulate a clear purpose, users will become frustrated and leave the site. Testing websites is an important task in order to eliminate user frustration and quickly provide the user with the desired information.

Testing and Results

The Connecticut Family Orthopedics website provides patient information about the practice to existing patients as well as potential patients. The current site offers access to the patient portal, request an appointment and information about the team. There are a lot of useful resources but the site needs updating for a better user experience.

Three participants were asked to complete five standard website tasks and their experience was viewed using WebEx. The usability testing was conducted by me on the current Connecticut Family Orthopedics website to provide data and recommendations for a redesign. Before the usability testing started, participants were given an introduction and background questions. Participants were also asked for verbal feedback during and after the meeting.

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Methodology

The three participants were friends/family and their names are confidential. Each participant was given an overview and informed that their tasks within the website would be recorded. All three participants had never visited the site prior to this study.

The testing sessions were administered remotely. Through WebEx, each participant had access and control of the screen while they were being recorded. The website was accessed through Chrome. Just before the session began, the participants were emailed the list of tasks and a consent form. A few initial questions were asked of each participant to get them comfortable before starting.

During testing, participants were asked their thoughts about each task and how difficult or easy they found it. At the end, participants were asked to summarize their experience and how they thought it could have been improved.

Evaluation tasks

  1. You have an appointment with Dr. Gray this week. Locate the office address.
  2. You have just twisted your ankle and need emergency care. Locate the hours the walk in is open today.
  3. For this task, you want to set up a payment plan. You need to fill out a credit card authorization form. Locate this form for download.
  4. You would like to request an appointment. Locate the area to do this and fill out the contact form.
  5. You are very active on social media and are interested to see if there are any recommendations posted on their pages. Find the Facebook link.

Screen Shot 2019-12-08 at 1.45.42 PM.png

Analysis

Task 1 results: Minor difficultly. All participants were looking for a tab in the navigation for location. Two participants went to the Contact Us tab while the third went to the bottom of the page. The address is located on the bottom of the page and the Contact Us tab will bring you to a page that has the hours and phone number. This page is shorter in content so the bottom of the page is brought up for the user to see the location. All three participants commented that the location should be clearly marked on the Contact Us as well as at the top of the page. One participant commented that a search function would help locate hard to find topics. 

Task 2 results: Moderate difficulty. The participants did not know that the urgent care was called OrthoPrompt. They were looking for either urgent care or walk in within the navigation. Once they started clicking around, out of frustration, they were able to figure out that the OrthoPrompt tab was for the urgent care. They were able to locate the hours easily once on the page. The comment was that this should be labeled as urgent care for people in emergency need.

Task 3 results: Mild difficulty. The participants all went directly to the insurance and billing tab but hesitated with the dropdown labeled patient forms. They would look around before heading back to this election and clicking on the patient forms. Once on the page they located the form quickly. The comment was that there should be a billing dropdown for billing specific forms. The page that they were brought to had disclosures, patient forms as well as the authorization form for credit cards.

Task 4 results: Easy. All three participants found this at the top of the page. There are two locations on the page to make an appointment, one at the top and the other is in the main navigation. They did question why it was located in two places.

Task 5 results: Easy. All three participants found the social media links with ease. They are located on the bottom of the page as seen in most websites. There were no additional comments on this task.

Conclusion

The Connecticut Family Orthopedics website has a lot of useful information for their patients on their site. However, the pages are very busy and unorganized. This created frustration for the participants. Pages need to be organized in shorter navigation paths with appropriate naming convention as seen in the card sorting exercise. The design needs to be cleaner and more consistent with a responsive design as well as a usable search function for the user.

The primary issue found was that the navigation was lengthy as well as several separate options were located at the top of the site. The participants found it overwhelming and confusing when looking for a particular topic. The lack of a search function also contributed to the frustration. Participants had similar suggestions for the categories although different views on topics beneath each category. Based on the results, Connecticut Family Orthopedics should consider consolidating the navigation and eliminating the separate links at the top. The separate links create confusion and overwhelm the user.

Issues found:

  • Difficulty finding office details
  • Content on pages is lengthy and not prioritized with relevant information on top
  • Navigation is confusing due to organization, duplications and relevant category topics
  • Address is only located at the footer

Recommendations:

  • Consolidate the navigation
  • Rename categories in navigation for ease of use
  • Create clean overall design
  • Use responsive design
  • Highlight 2-3 important information topics at top with remaining in condensed navigation

Recommended navigation:

  • Stay connected
  • Patient Portal
  • Resources
  • Services
  • About us
  • Additionally, at the bottom links for:
    • Newsletter Sign up
    • Social Media links

Always Be Testing

Websites need to be constantly evolving as user behavior can change depending on the age, experience and interest of the user. For a successful usability test you must first:

  • Decide what areas to concentrate on
  • Determine what tasks you want to test
  • Determine potential usability issues

Keep asking questions and looking for how to improve.

The RITE way

screen-shot-2019-11-24-at-9.34.21-am-e1574606104197.pngRITE stands Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation. The RITE Method is similar to a typical usability testing where participants are asked to complete tasks using think-aloud protocol. The big difference with this method is that rather than waiting for the end of the study to look at the findings and suggest improvements, the team iterates on the design as soon as issues are discovered by one or two participants. Designers are able to test and get feedback on new solutions and ideas quickly.

This method involves implementing changes as soon as a problem is identified and a solution is clear. That can mean within the day or a period of two hours. After each participant, time must be set aside to review results with decision-makers and decide if issues raised warrant changes for the next iteration of the prototype. In order to make changes quickly, the decision makers of the team need to be present.

Doing it RITE

The Nationwide UX team had been using the RITE method for a couple of years with a variety of financial services websites and applications. One project centered around pages on a 401(k) management site. As the project went into a new redesign phase, the UX team suggested RITE as an approach for quick results and feedback at an early stage. This would allow the team to continually make changes based on user feedback.

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The prototype tested consisted of easily modifiable wireframes. They had two participant sessions per day for five days, with a three-day gap after the third day. This gave the team time between tests to make quick changes to the prototypes. With the RITE methodology, the project team was able to make several recommendations from the results of the testing. These recommendations were then applied as the project progressed.

Tips for Using the RITE Method

Here are some tips for getting started with the RITE method, according to UX Magazine.

  • Schedule 30 minutes after each session to discuss what people observed, form hypotheses about why users were confused or stuck on certain parts and come up with ideas for improvements.
  • Designate one person as the ultimate decision-maker on what changes should be implemented before the next participant.
  • Have someone on-site who is willing and able to make quick iterations.
  • Be willing to fail early and often. Making decisions quickly before the next participant can help in overcoming any lingering fears.

Conclusion

RITE works best for projects in the early concept phase. The findings can help the team to review and explore new ideas. The RITE method allows the team to examine alternatives quickly resulting in a better user experience more quickly than other traditional usability testing methods.

The RITE method involves team collaboration and often involves the client, who leaves with a better understanding of the process and the value of the work. It can be fun and rewarding when doing it the RITE way with a collaborative team.

 

Conducting an Empathy Interview

Empathy interviews are the foundation of design thinking. By understanding someone’s thoughts and motivations, you have a better understanding of the choices that person will make. By understanding their behavior, you can better identify their needs. This will help the development team create successful products or services for the user.

interview-clipart-research-interview-3An empathy interview uses a human-centered approach to understand the feelings and experiences of others. Empathy interviews gather insights that may not be apparent without conducting this kind of interview. These insights can then be used to help identify problems or needs to further aid in developing potential solutions.

To create a product or service that is successful with its target audience, it’s important to know the story of the user. Stories help you connect and empathize. They reveal the inner insights and feelings that the development team could only understand by having an interaction with the user. An empathy interview should feel less like an interview, and more like a conversation with a friend or coworker. The goal is to understand the users. The interview will help you comprehend the users’ thought processes, decision triggers, and emotions. These insights will further assist you in making informed decisions based on their behavior, rather than their satisfaction level, purchase frequency, or brand loyalty.

Understanding the user

The user wants to feel like they are being heard and valued. As the interviewer, you need to be an active listener and encourage storytelling. Storytelling allows the interviewer to dig deeper while preventing generic responses. It helps build the conversation as the user talks about experiences rather than opinions. For example, instead of saying “Do you like your car?” try saying “Tell me about the last time you drove your car.” This lets the user know you are interested in what they have to say while telling you their story.

Empathy interviews allow the users to speak about what is important to them. It will help focus on the emotional and subconscious aspect of the user to gain insights on how the user behaves in given situations. The interview may reveal solutions you might not have discovered or help you see needs or challenges you might have overlooked. The interview should make the user feel at ease so they speak from the heart with honest feedback. Additionally, this will also give the interviewer an opportunity to view body language which allows for spontaneous questions base on observations.

Preparing for an Empathy Interview 

To conduct an interview, you should prepare a script as a guide. During the interview, if something comes up that is not on the script, you can explore further beyond what you have prepared. A good opening script introduces a few key things quickly and succinctly:

  1. Yourself / Yourselves
  2. The date, location, and purpose of the workshop
  3. Why you’re the one performing this interview and what role people are playing
  4. The conditions of privacy and anonymity surrounding the event
  5. A request for their permission/comfort to continue the interview

The questions that you prepare beforehand should induce useful and thoughtful responses. You don’t want to ask yes or no questions as these will not give you insight as to why they feel this way. Your questions should be part of a conversation asking them to tell you more about how they feel and why they feel this way. Interviewers should be doing more than just listening and recording. They should be observing their users’ body language, tone and following up on responses that need further explanation.

If you get stuck, ask “why?” Asking why digs deeper into emotion and motivation. This will help you understand user behavior and identify needs.

  • “Why?”
  • “Why did you do/say/think that?”
  • “Really? And why was that?”
  • “Can you say more about that?”
  • “Tell me more.”
  • “And what were you feeling then?”

Three important things to remember as you think about your script:

  • Immerse: experience what users experience.
  • Observe: view users and their behaviors in the contexts of their lives.
  • Engage: interact with and interview users through schedules and “intercept” encounters.

Conclusion

Remember to be fully present and truly there. Have a way to record the interview so that you can focus all of your attention on what they are saying. Always ask “why?” Their answer may reveal aspects that you had not considered. This can lead to solutions you did not anticipate.

Empathy interviews are about having an authentic conversation with the user. This allows you to understand emotions, motivation and the choices the user makes. The findings will help you understand what their needs are and aide in your design to create a better user experience.

And always: Observe, engage, immerse.

 

Always be testing

There’s a joke in the marketing world that A/B testing actually stands for “Always Be Testing.” It’s a good way to remember that you can’t get the best results until you compare one strategy to another. A/B testing can help you visualize a strategy in order to obtain the best results. The importance of A/B testing is to understand the user behavior and how to use that behavior to drive traffic to a site. This will generate more leads and profitability. A/B tests can reveal weaknesses in your marketing strategy, but they can also show you what you’re doing right and confirm your hypotheses.

Without data, you won’t know how effective your marketing assets truly are. Using only a few small tweaks to a form or call-to-action may have a huge impact on the number of leads your company attracts.

Understanding A/B testing

An A/B test is a comparison between two versions of the same marketing asset, such as a web page or email, which you expose to equal halves of your audience. Based on conversion rates or other metrics, you can decide which one performs best. For example, you change the call to action on a landing page. You can A/B test variations of the CTA content by incorporating different verbs and adjectives, or changing the font style and size. An A/B test runs until you have enough data to make a solid decision.

If you’re testing the headline on a landing page, you might also want to test the subject line for your latest email. Changing just one variable at a time ensures that you know what had an impact on your audience’s responses.

Keep testing

You might want to test the same variable multiple times. As the audience evolves and the business grows, you’ll discover that you will have new needs to meet. It’s an ever-changing process that can result in a huge impact on your bottom line.

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Source: LinkedIn

Testing

Making aesthetic changes to your landing pages, emails or display ads can have a huge impact on conversions.

For email campaigns you can set up two variations of the campaign and send them to a small percentage of the subscribers. The success is measured by the open or click through rate. This determines the right campaign to send to the remaining subscribers.

  • Subject lines – Test two different subject lines against each other to increase your open rates.
  • CTA – Testing two calls-to-action will help you determine which version increases conversion rates.

On landing pages there are several areas that you can begin testing to see how they impact conversion. You can change around the layout, adjust the color or font and try different navigations to determine how users prefer to interact with your website. These last-minute edits can affect your conversation rate both negatively or positively. Testing is the only way to see the effect of these changes.

Additional edits to consider for testing:

  • Images – Images can have a huge impact on the way a user feels. Testing two completely different images can help you determine which image resonates with the audience.
  • Content – If the content is too lengthy, users may be overwhelmed before reaching the CTA. On the other hand, if the content is too short, the user may be left confused without the necessary information. Testing the length will help determine which will be more successful.

It is important to note that you don’t have to test everything – focus on what elements you think will make a difference. You may not receive the results you were hoping for and that is ok. Learn from the testing and try again with a new strategy.

What to measure

There are a few elements that you should be monitoring. After you deploy your A/B testing you will want to review the results. These metrics include:

  • Conversion rate: Most important metric in testing. Measure conversions per unique visit.
  • Time spent on page: Measuring the amount of time spent on a page will give insight into the user’s interest in the product.
  • Bounce rate: If you have a high bounce rate, you will need to review why.
  • Unique visitors: This shows you how many new people are visiting the page.

A/B testing is a crucial part of any marketing campaign. It will help ensure you run the best possible version to achieve the highest results.

Case studies

Example 1: Humana

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Humana created an A/B test on a banner with a simple headline and CTA as well as an image. After two rounds of A/B testing, they saw that they needed to adjust a couple of elements.

The initial banner had a lot of text while the second variation reduced the copy significantly. Additionally, the CTA changed from “Shop Medicare Plans” to “Get Started Now.” A couple other changes included the image and color scheme.

These small changes led to a 433 percent increase in CTR. After changing the CTA text, the company experienced an additional 192 percent boost.

Example 2: Highrise

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Highrise tested different headline and sub headline combinations to see if this affected the sign up. The testing showed that the variation that said the sign up was quick, produced a 30% increase in click through rates.

Example 3: Groove

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Groove spoke to their customers to find out what wording speaks to them as well as setting up a questionnaire to find out why they signed up. Using this feedback, they developed a landing page test changing up the content with their findings. The conversion rate with this test increased from 2.3% to 4.3%.

Conclusion

To increase conversion and ultimately sales, you need the data to make informed decisions on how to change the marketing. Using the results obtained from A/B testing, you know what elements within the campaign contribute to conversions.  You will have an understanding on what changes will positively affect the audience and affect conversion rates. And remember “Always be testing”.

 

Understanding Iterative Design

Iterative design is a method used in the design of a product that provides periodic testing and review at different stages during design in order to eliminate flaws before the product is completed and launched. Iterative design is a process of improving the design over time and can take place at any phase of the design process, although it’s best to implement it early in the product lifecycle to achieve the most cost savings. This savings is because it is cheaper and easier to create a prototype to test than it is to develop a total system or product.

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Image from Innovation Labs

In iterative design, a product is developed in cycles. The initial design is tested by a small group of users. Issues are documented and reviewed, and after that the design is edited to eliminate problems. This cycle is repeated a few times until the design is ready to be implemented. Iterative design is important because it allows teams to reduce usability issues and develop a good user experience. Wireframing and prototyping can be useful tools in iterative design.

Once a user’s need has been identified and ideas have been generated to meet that need, a prototype will be developed. Testing of the prototype will show whether it meets the need and the results will help amend the design. A new prototype will be created and the process will begin again until the best possible product has been developed. Prototyping is inexpensive and quick to create, making it a cost-effective way to improve designs.  It can be extremely helpful when a team has several ideas and is unsure of which one to pursue. Developing a prototype of each idea and then assembling rapid user feedback can help the team choose which ideas move forward with no further cost.

Design iteration means learning from failure before putting a product in front of users – so that you are judged on success.”

Example of Iterative Design

An example of iterative design is Wikipedia, where users can add missing information and correct mistakes that have been made by former contributors. Anyone is able to update and improve the content at any time. The editor can review and decide when the change is an improvement. Over time the theory is that Wikipedia’s content will evolve and improve making it a valuable asset online. While one person’s improvement may not be seen as such by another, in your iterative design, you will have control in the decision making.

Benefits of Iterative Design

  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Clarity of direction within the team
  • User feedback showing if it is meeting user needs
  • Share the design process for client feedback
  • Involves development team for further feedback
  • Regular testing
  • Helps with “lessons learned” for a solid finished product
  • Gives stakeholders better visibility of progress at each iteration

Final thoughts

Iterative design allows designers to create and test quickly as well as effectively. The best designs can continue forward through the design process while those that are not showing promise can be taken off the list. It is a cost-effective way to put user experience in the center of the design process.

Social Media Campaign Strategy – Medispa

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For my Social Media Campaign Strategy, I choose to take a look at MediSpa located in Newtown CT. They have recently moved to a new location within a newly built complex and will be having a grand opening event. Along with the grand opening they will be having product launches, membership specials and presentation events for specific services.

With the new location they need to establish a strong presence on social media to bring in new clients and maintain continued support from existing clientele. They offer a wide range of services from beauty to weight loss in a beautiful serene location convenient to the area. The content strategy will help them build the confidence of potential clients along with sharing their passion for combining the science and beauty of aesthetics with extensive education for both staff and clients. Their providers have collectively performed 250,000+ treatments for over seven years and have received several awards for their success:

  • Ultimate 100 Global Aesthetic Leaders 2019
  • Top 1% Nationwide for Botox, Juvederm and CoolSculpting
  • Aesthetic Practice of the Year Northeast 2018

To create excitement for the upcoming grand opening, I have prepared a content calendar to help build anticipation. The content will share events leading up to the grand opening event as well as a look at some of the cost saving membership they offer at certain times of the year. The strategy will increase aware of services to existing clients and open new opportunities for potential new client.

The Campaign Strategy includes:

  • Campaign goal and objectives
  • Recommendations
  • Target audience
  • Content plan and brand personality
  • Content calendar
  • Measurement strategy
  • Recommendations

Social media is able to reach a large majority of the targeted audience. Through this channel, posts can create excitement of upcoming events, educate users about the services available to them and give them goals to work towards. It will also drive traffic to their site which will lead to appointments in the spa. The channels within this strategy will be Facebook and Instagram as both of these platforms work well with photography to reach the targeted audience.

The brand is elegant but lends to a natural beauty. The brand voice will be shown within the proposed content calendars to maintain the level of service clientele is accustomed to while bring in new clients. The strategy will be measured by followers, engagement, appointments to sales and analysis. The future strategy will be based on the success and failures of the current plan to continue growth in revenue. Although change can be scary, in content strategy, change is exciting and builds the brand.

View full Social Media Campaign Strategy PDF

Watch Social Media Campaign Strategy video

 

 

Crisis communications – Fashion profiting from tragedy

A little less than a month ago, my daughter who attends Newtown High School, sent me an image which was posted on Instagram of a torn-up sweatshirt with Sandy Hook printed on it. She said everyone is so upset – it took me a minute to realize exactly what I was looking at. Fashion brand Bstroy debuted the brand’s spring/summer 2020 collection, designed by Brick Owens and Duey Catorze. The line featured distressed hoodies reading “Stoneman Douglas,” “Sandy Hook,” “Virginia Tech” and “Columbine,” the sites of four of the deadliest school shootings in the US. The school shooting-themed hoodies were shown at a show during New York Fashion Week.

Social media

Photos from the show were posted on their Instagram account, and quickly drew outrage from around the world. But what was gut wrenching for me were the comments from survivors or relatives of victims. I saw my daughter’s post as well as several of her classmates begging them to remove the sweatshirts and asking if they had no feelings for those affected by gun violence. One person commented, “My dead classmates dying should not be a f***ing fashion statement.”

On Twitter, a spokesperson for the Vicky Soto Memorial Fund, established after teacher Victoria Soto was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, posted, “This is just absolutely horrific. A company is making light of our pain and other’s pain for fashion. Selling sweatshirts with our name and bullet holes. Unbelievable.”

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Designers response

Owens posted a handout from the show on Instagram, which reads, “Sometimes life can be painfully ironic. Like the irony of dying violently in a place you considered to be a safe, controlled environment, like school. We are reminded all the time of life’s fragility, shortness, and unpredictability yet we are also reminded of its infinite potential.”

They didn’t seem to be fazed by the hurt that they were causing all that have been touched by school shootings and rather felt that their own personal struggles were holding them back from being understood for their “art”.

“We wanted to make a comment on gun violence and the type of gun violence that needs preventative attention and what its origins are, while also empowering the survivors of tragedy through storytelling in the clothes,” Owens wrote in an email to Today. “Also built into the device is the fact that our image as young, black males have not been traditionally awarded credit for introducing avant-garde ideas. So many people have assumed our message to be lazy just because of what they’ve been taught about black men. These hoodies were made with all of these intentions in mind, and to explore all of these societal issues. Not just the surface layer of gun violence in schools but also the different ways that we relate to each other and the dated ideas that still shape the assumptions we make about each other.”

Looking back – what should have been done

I don’t think the company or designers handled this situation well. They continue to have the images posted on their Instagram with over 4,000 comments under each picture. They defended their vision rather than understanding what their designs have done to those affected by school shootings. If they were trying to make a point to politicians to make a change, they missed their mark. The only ones affected by their vision were the ones having to relive the tragedies day after day. They are trying to profit from tragedy; if they wanted to make a political statement, there are many other ways to do this.

Important steps to take in a social media crisis

Act immediately – A social media crisis needs to be dealt with immediately. It’s important to accept responsibility as soon as possible. Brick Owens and Duey Catorze as well as Bstroy did not take responsibility but rather fed on the wounds they had opened.

Rethink your schedule – Reschedule all content that was supposed to go live once the crisis has occurred. The worst thing to do in the middle of a social media crisis is to try to promote a product or service. Bstroy used the anger to continue to promote their brand. Within hours, the images of their distasteful product were on national news along with the angered posts beneath their images.

Post an official statement on your website – Once a major crisis has occurred, an official statement needs to be made and posted on the website. Explain what happened in full detail and telling the company’s side of the story in an empathetic tone. With Bstroy, at no point have the designers or company posted an apology to the victims and their images continue to be posted on all social media accounts.

Avoid controversial topics – Never assume customers share the views on a particular topic as the company or creator. Discussing controversial topics is almost never a good idea. Avoid religion, politics, foreign policy and most social issues.

Conclusion

I created a social media management plan workflow that shows what steps Bstroy should have taken immediately after the crisis occurred.

A lot of brands don’t know how to handle a social media crisis properly. Addressing the crisis as soon as possible and to being honest with the audience is the most important thing to do. It’s a good idea for brands to prepare for a social media crisis by creating a crisis management plan and training a group of employees on how to handle a crisis. Understanding the necessary skills for successfully dealing with a social media crisis is key to handling one the right way.

 

 

 

Content Management

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The holidays can be an extremely stressful time for everyone. When you put a lot of time and effort into a gift and things don’t go as expected, it can be perfect storm for a customer service disaster. How a company handles stressful moments for their customers says a lot about the company’s belief in the customer.

Last year I had designed a canvas for a family member that took me weeks to put together and had it printed through WHCC. I was excited and nervous about giving a very personalized gift which had their newly born baby girl’s information on it: birthdate, weight, height, full name and eye color done in the theme of their nursery. I wanted to have it sent to me once printed before I shipped it out to them to make sure it turned out perfect. When it arrived, the color was completely off. I was devastated because if I had another one printed it would be extremely expensive and even with expedited shipping it would not arrive in time for Christmas. I immediately went to check the files that I had uploaded to make sure the mistake wasn’t on my end. Just as I was about to have a Christmas meltdown, I reached out via email through their site, not expecting much in return while I tried to figure out what to do next.

Within 2 hours I received an email back saying that they were so sorry for the mishap and would be reprinting at no cost as well as shipping overnight. On top of that, they issued me a refund for the inconvenience with another apology for the stress they had caused. The tone was empathetic and they did everything they could to make their mistake right. The very next day I received the new canvas that was gorgeous and I was able to ship it out myself to get it to them before Christmas. Truly a Christmas miracle!

I followed up with an online review of WHCC about the amazing quality of their product as well as the stellar customer service I received. When my relative received their gift, they posted it on social media with a #WHCC to share their gift and joy while promoting WHCC’s product. WHCC was able to turn an unhappy customer around to be one that not only was happy with the product received but one that shared their experience online for others to see.

Best Practices for Social Media Customer Service

Excellent social media customer service builds better relationships with customers. In one JD Power survey, of more than 23,000 online consumers, 67% reported that they contacted a company via social media for support. How a company responds makes all the difference in the outcome.

“Customers are your number one asset, not responding to them is not an option. A Gartner study found that companies that ignore support requests on social media see an average churn rate 15% higher than companies that respond to requests.” Creating Legendary Social Customer Care

7 Best Practices for Social Media Customer Service 

  1. Pick the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Business – Not only can WHCC be contacted through customer support phone line, email and online chat; they are also very involved with social media. They are on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. It is important to know where your customers are. For WHCC, photographers are on Instagram and this is where WHCC is most active. By going to where your customers actually are, they can deliver a support experience that’s native to their preferred network.
  2. Monitor Social Media Mentions – it is important for WHCC to be alerted when they are tagged in social media posts. They can quickly respond to the tag whether it is a happy customer or someone that is upset with their product or service. Using free search tools can help them stay on top of when and where WHCC gets mentioned so that they can respond quickly to customers.
  3. Look for Mentions That Might Not Be Obvious – Research shows that only 3% of brand mentions actually use a company’s Twitter handle. Instead they are using the company or product name. Because of this, they will often spell the name wrong. WHCC should be searching for their name spelled wrong or variations of the name by using search tools like HootSuite.
  4. Speed Matters in Social Support – According to The Social Habit, 32% of social media users expect to have a response within 30 minutes and 42% expect to have a response within 60 minutes. WHCC needs to keep in mind that with the fast-paced social media environment, a reasonable response time should be within a 24-hour time frame. Trying to respond as quickly as possible is important.
  5. Use the Right Tone of Voice – The company’s tone is extremely important in customer support. Social media may limit the character length of your message such as on Twitter which makes the need for the right tone important. The tone depends on the customer and needs to be adjusted for each response. If the customer is frustrated, the company needs to use empathy to engage. WHCC must  understand the needs of the customer. Are you frustrated with uploading or commenting on how to achieve something? Understanding is an important prerequisite.
  6. Take Things Offline When Necessary… The Right Way – not all customer issues can be solved on social media. Sometimes they require taking it offline and engaging with an email or phone call. This could be due to sensitive information or needing a larger platform for a resolution. The trick is to make sure the customer doesn’t feel like they are getting passed around causing additional frustrations. Make the customer feel cared for and that you have empathy for their situation and want to make it right. In order to do this, you may need to add an additional step such as a phone call.
  7. Use Your Knowledge Base to Make Things Easy – Having detailed FAQs or online links to supporting articles will help limit frustrations when a customer is looking for answers. This is especially helpful for commonly asked questions. WHCC has a robust FAQs page that addresses many different topics.

10 FAQs – WHCC

What do I do to get started?

Click on the “Become a Client” tab and fill out our New Client Questionnaire. You will then receive an email that contains a link to submit up to five 8”x10” test files. We will print your files, set up your account, and ship the test prints back to you — all at no charge. The test prints are a great way to test your monitor calibration as well as view our quality of printing.

Am I required to submit test prints?

Yes. We want to be sure that the color you are seeing on your monitor is what you are getting back in your prints before you submit a real order to us. The test prints process is quick and easy. You should have your test prints and account number within 24-48 hours of submitting your test print files.

I just couldn’t seem to get the files to 8×10 without distorting the picture

When your original file size is not the same aspect ratio as an 8”x10”, the image will distort if you are using the image size in Photoshop with your constrain proportions unchecked to size the file. You can crop your file one of two ways to be an 8”x10” size: (1) use the cropping tool in Photoshop to size the file to 8”x10” at 300 ppi. However, you will lose some of your image. Or (2), you can go to image size, check the constrain proportions box, and size your file to the closest it can be to 8”x10” but size under not over. Then take your 7.5”x10” file (for example) go under image, scroll down to canvas size, and canvas the file size up to 8”x10”. This way you will have a file size at 8”x10” without cropping or losing any of the image. The canvassing method can also be used for printing a custom sized print with us.
If you are cropping your files in Lightroom this should be done from the Develop screen by setting your file dimensions and then dragging the crop tool over your image.

I would like to automate the image resizing using Lightroom instead of Photoshop. However, the jpeg quality option is not 1 to 12 but rather 1 to 100%. Should I set it at 83% quality (based on 10 of 12)?

With Lightroom 84% is an equivalent to a level 10 jpeg.

I received my test files and they don’t match my monitor. What do I do now?

If you are calibrated properly with a calibration device; and your test prints still do not match your monitor in color and/or density: (1) make sure your files are embedded with your color space profile. If they are; then (2) download and apply our soft-proof profile to see if the shifting color/density may be due to the paper and/or the printer the files were printed on. If they still do not match after soft-proofing with our profiles then try to recalibrate with your calibration device reconfirming the settings are at our recommended settings. If the prints are still not matching your monitor please call customer service for further assistance before placing any orders.
If you’re unsure what color calibration is, or you haven’t calibrated yet, see Color Management for more details on achieving perfect color consistently.

How do I calibrate to your printer?

You don’t calibrate directly to our printers. You calibrate your monitor and generate a monitor profile that software like Photoshop uses to show you accurate color on your screen. We calibrate and balance our printers to create a printer profile. Using a standard working color space like Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB and embedding this in your file allows our printer software to make sure what is printed is what you saw on your screen. We recommend all clients perform hardware monitor calibration. This is a relatively straightforward and simple procedure. We recommend the i1Display Pro and ColorMunki Display by Xrite.

Do you supply any profiles?

Yes. Once you have an account number, you can download ICC profiles for soft proofing purposes. The profiles are for all of our printers and we also have instructions on how to properly use them. Under no circumstances should you convert to our printing profile or embed it in your files.

Should I embed an ICC profile?

Embedding a valid ICC profile in your image is very important. Without embedding the profile our software has no idea what colorspace your file is in. This will result in unexpected color in the prints. All files not tagged with an embedded profile are assumed to be in sRGB.

What colorspace do you accept?

We recommend using a standard working space profile such as Adobe RGB 1998 or sRGB. However, we accept any colorspace as long as it is embedded in the file. Our software will read the colorspace embedded in the file and print appropriately.

What type of file do you require?

We require level 10 JPEG files to be sent to us. We use JPEG’s because the compression is a very efficient image compression algorithm designed specifically for saving photographic images. It takes advantage of how we see color versus brightness to only save information needed to reproduce the image for people to view. Image data is lost during compression but at high levels of quality you will not see a difference between a level 10 JPEG and a Tiff printed to paper. JPEG compression is perfect for transient files for sending to the lab for printing, but avoid using the compression as a working file type. Also avoid opening a JPEG, making changes, and resaving it again as a JPEG repeatedly. If your workflow calls for this to happen, save your files as Tiff or PSD files until they are complete and ready for output. Any JPEG artifacts you see in your prints come from the JPEG file coming out of your camera, not from saving them as a level 10 for output purposes.

Thank you’s and empathy 

WHCC was able to use customer service to make me happy after receiving a mistake that could have been a holiday disaster. Since my experience, I have continued to use WHCC and recommend them to others. My happy outcome urged me to share my experience with friends online and also led to my relative sharing the product with her online followers. WHCC was able to make several happy customers and got some marketing out of it.

Social Media Audit

Brand recognition on social media is very important to the success of a company. For this week’s assignment I was tasked with completing an analysis of a company’s use of social media channels; I chose my hair salon New Beginnings Salon and Spa. I enjoy going to this salon for their use of nature-based products for color and care. They are very active on Facebook and I wanted to see how deep their social media use goes.

About New Beginning Salon and Spa

New Beginning Salon and Spa is an Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Day Spa focused on healthier lifestyle, our environment and its future. Aveda products are created using advanced plant technology and formulated with pure plant essences without animal testing. Their Aveda-trained Lifestyle Salon and Spa Team provide hair, skin, cosmetic and body wellness services using Aveda products. They were the winner of the Salon200 award in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Analysis and competition

My analysis of New Beginning Salon and Spa included an audit review of their social media channels. My review was from July 2019 to September 2019 to evaluate how they were using social media to promote their brand identity. The channels that I analyzed were Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

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  • Facebook – The salon uses Facebook to highlight recent color and hair styles as well as promote in-house events using Aveda products. They also highlight their stylists’ awards, time with the salon and finished results showing customer styles.
  • Instagram – The salon uses Instagram to promote recent client’s hair color and style.
  • Twitter – The salon uses twitter to make announcements, highlight products and give environmental healthy lifestyle tips.
  • Pinterest – They have created boards for color, cuts, age and makeup inspiration.

Also included in my analysis was the review of two local competitors’ use of social media. I chose Adam Broderick and Whip Salon.

  • Facebook:
    • Adam Broderick uses Facebook to primarily promote products sold at the salon.
    • Whip Salon uses Facebook to promote before/after pictures, in-house events and contests to increase online sharing.
  • Instagram:
    • Adam Broderick mostly promotes the products sold in salon with a few images of clients’ styles.
    • Whip Salon showcases clients’ color and styles.
  • Twitter:
    • Adam Broderick uses the same content/images on twitter as they do on Facebook promoting products.
    • Whip Salon uses Twitter to highlight current promotions and give inspiration on the season’s hottest looks.
  • Pinterest
    • Adam Broderick uses Pinterest to promote salon products.
    • Whip Salon has boards for color and seasonal inspiration as well as hair tips.

View my full analysis. Social Media Channels Analysis

Summary

I found that New Beginnings has a large presence on social media and they use several different channels to stay present. I think the most successful posts they have are the client color and cuts. Reviewing their competitors, I recommend two things that New Beginnings could use to create more conversation and traffic.

  • Having contests on Facebook that require the user to tag a friend and share their page.
  • Sharing client’s before/after pictures. This will get the user excited about obtaining the same or similar look as well as sharing it with friends for their opinions.

 

 

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