The way we communicate with each other is changing. I use social media like forums and Twitter to connect and learn from others. It seems that I am not alone. Over one billion people, that’s one out of every seven people in the world, are connecting via some form of social media.
As designers, we try to learn about people and their needs, design for them, and then refine the design. Along the way, we connect and engage with people through things like usability tests and focus groups. But people are describing their experiences in a much broader way including things like how they became aware of a product, purchased it, how they are configuring it and what they do when something goes wrong. We have the opportunity to engage people about every part of their experience.
One way we can engage is through social media. By listening and offering help, we can begin to build a relationship with the people who use our products. It helps to reach out to people where they are – and where people are today is in social media. This enables us to have an ongoing conversation regardless of where people are located. It extends the great connections we make when we meet in person at Symantec Vision and user group meetings.
The social engagement becomes part of the experience. And, when we need feedback, there is an audience who is more than happy to share their thoughts. At Symantec, we are calling the process of listening, engaging and inviting people to participate in improving the user experience Socially Driven Design ™.
I invite you to join the conversation. Find others who use the products that you use. Reach out to the people who create products. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on how social media is changing the way you engage with people and with the products you use.