Ever walked into a restaurant where everyone knows your name – they even know your favorite seat, your favorite food and just how you like it?
Our desire, as individuals, will always be to go beyond the norms, and make something ‘our own’. This craving is gospel truth for design too, especially since the time modern art has come to existence - where artists each have their own unique styles of expression and thereby, exploring and experimenting with our own individual identities.
With apps and websites such as Spotify, Youtube and Amazon providing awe-inspiring content personalization, design personalization isn’t a far-fetched concept too.
- Lucie Austin, Managing Director – Coca Cola, South Pacific
Coca Cola has been ingenious enough to put people’s name on individual cans, thereby turning each can into a unique property. This design personalization paid off when the brand witnessed a 2% growth to their sales within the first few months, after initiating this strategy. Coca Cola has recently relaunched the campaign and it seems to be a part of their brand presence now.
Heineken did something similar thing with ‘Your Heineken’ campaign, which leveraged the consumer need for a personal touch. The brand let consumers design and order their own Heineken bottles, as a means of providing a great design personalization experience.
The ‘Response to Buying Suggestions’ that Amazon offers to its customers is said to have generated an additional 10%-30% revenue for their business.
Other popular businesses that rely on recommendation algorithms include Netflix. The company even sponsored a $1m prize for improvements to its predictive algorithms.
Spotify has also been quite successful by allowing users to listen to only music that interests them. They've tapped into a market of no-nonsense music listeners, who are tired of switching from channel to channel, to find a good tune. Thereby, giving birth to dozens of apps who’ve quickly followed suit.
Content still forms to the cornerstone of 1:1 personalization. At the very least, content needs to evolve with the user as he/she continues to interact. ‘Here are a few movies you may like’, ‘here’s a song similar to the one you just heard’ - are just a few examples of how content is evolving to drive personalization. In concise words, content will always drive 1:1 design personalization.
Experiences can and should be tailored for users. Let’s say you got an explorer. He doesn’t care about the beaten path, rather wants a website to show him places that he’s never been to. Design personalization will allow us to present the website that appeals to the explorer in the person. For the same website, we also get the business flyer, who cares about the price and cares more for the quick book. The design in that case can rearrange itself to present content that focuses on quick booking and prices.
When we say evolution of the design, doesn’t imply we’ve got multiple layouts for different users, but essentially a layout that can structure itself in accord to the user its serving. The potential is endless. This concept can apply to the first time flyer, the frequent flyer, and other user profiles.
The power of telling a convincing story, is almost limitless. Every piece of content, every visual and every animation builds towards defining a customer experience. The story is key… not everyone likes to hear the same kind of story. Some like to take their time and pay attention to details while another wants the gist and call it a day. Therefore, it is crucial to tailor that journey. For a quick buyer, take him straight to payment, rather than adding to cart and for the detail oriented, give him all the information (down to the specifications), so he/she feels comfortable in the buying journey.
In the case of travel explorers, tell them all the interesting activities they can do. Those who just care for a new hotel with a pretty view, well… show them exactly that! Design will play a huge part in helping this journey personalization. Smart design will ensure that no matter who the user is, it will be flexible enough to maintain their essence, while guiding the user through their journey using iconography, modular design and flexible content blocks.
Design continues to evolve in more ways than one. While still subjective, the world continues to grow towards a more ‘tailor-made web’ era. It’s important to think about your how your design will evolve over time and not be just as a one-time solution. It is impossible at this time for me to even imagine how much the boundaries of design are going to be pushed.
As machine learning, AI and design tools evolve, so will human habits. We went through an era of drop shadows and gradients to flat design to now evolving back to a more refined world of drop shadows and gradients.
Here’s looking forward to the world of 1:1 design personalization, to break boundaries.