When creating experiences for others, we’re often asking participants to take a leap of faith – with the promise that a little mystery or effort will lead to a worthwhile reward. How do you create a sense of confidence in the user journey? That sense of confidence is a key tool in keeping all parties happy and motivated to continue the journey to the end. A couple of recent experiences demonstrate some worthy strategies.
On a visit to a friend who had just gone through the heroics of giving birth, I noticed this patient board. On the board are a set of hanging cards, each representing benchmarks which patients will achieve before they leave for home. The front has a label and picture to describe the benchmark. On the reverse is the same title but with a big ticked box. When tasks are completed the card is flipped over and the ticked box appears. Text on the board explains what these steps are all about – going back home.
This big visible record is a journey map – an illustrated reminder of the larger aim, what needs to happen, what has happened and what’s left to go. It’s a great (and low tech!) way of makings goals clear and to acknowledge the potential mass of confusing steps in a hospital journey, making that mess understandable and less of a scary thing. This improves the patient experience, encourages participation step by step, and I’m sure it also cuts down on the series of patient questions which staff would spend time on.
A similar sort of feedback device shows up in a very different place – while watching video content directly from media company websites, a countdown during commercial breaks reassures itchy viewers that they will not go on for ever. The countdown is a feedback mechanism, a simple but effective feature which acknowledges viewer concern in getting back to the video content. This greatly improves the chances of viewers staying put (which is what companies hope you to do), continuing to watch (which is what visitors want to do) and achieving the goal of all parties involved.