You are one of the speakers at a panel dedicated to personalized interface at this year’s NEM. Working for sales at Applicaster, a company that delivers solutions to companies that want the best experience for their users, how important personalized interface is?
First of all, users want a great experience. In the last few years especially, users have experienced some very well designed apps and now they have high expectations. Secondly, the content space has become so crowded that users can’t decide where or what to watch: for example they are spending an average of 18 minutes just searching for the next content to watch on Netflix*. This is true for all the different platforms and formats: there is simply too much content out there and we need someone to select it for us. These two elements combined – the expectation of a great user experience and the need for a content selection tailored to our preferences – are something users are willing to pay a premium price for.
When it comes to personalized interface, can you point out one platform that should be, in your opinion, a role model for the best user experience?
Aside from the usual names like Netflix and Amazon, who set the user experience bar high, I personally like what Blackpills is doing on mobile. The interface is extremely clean and well designed, users can set streaming quality based on data allowance, and the selection of shows is tailored to the small screen and to viewing ‘on the go.’
Does user experience affect overall simplicity of the product? In other words, is it too complicated to create a fully functional platform that is completely made to satisfy users?
Short answer: yes. Users want a simple and clean user experience – but they are not interested in how that’s achieved behind the scenes. As simple as it feels to the users, building this experience can be very complex and it can be very expensive, and this is the reason more and more media companies are moving to a SaaS solution – it’s a more cost-effective and a more easily managed tech solution. Software-as-a-service means that you don’t have to develop this technology in house; instead you can use the best products on the market in each area (e.g. analytics, video player, etc.) and your product will leverage them. This makes the launch of any new service much faster and cheaper, without compromising quality.
There are so many apps on today’s market. What is, in your opinion, the best way to keep users’ attention?
An app is a direct connection with the audience. There is no Google or Facebook in between: you can deliver your message directly to your users. So make sure you say something great. And say it often. According to a study published by Urban Airship, using push notifications at least once a day can increase retention by almost 10x. If you activate your audience regularly, they are less likely to stop using (and to eventually uninstall) your app. Prepare your product to be change-friendly. Measure the engagement and act promptly on the results. Make small adjustments to the user interface, anytime the data you are collecting suggest to do so.
From degree in philosophy to director of sales at Applicaster. How did that happen?
Literally the “love for knowledge”, philosophy is something you don’t study with the purpose to get a job. I’ve always had a passion for content and I’ve been lucky enough to work across many different forms of content. From traditional book publishing when the internet wasn’t more than university network to the most recent trends in content marketing, I believe this is still one of the most amazing industries someone could aspire to work in. How content is designed, built and delivered is changing and new business models are emerging more rapidly than ever. If you are prepared to adapt, content will always provide great opportunities.