close up of a pencil and a ruler

Details make the design

When a brand gives us a bad experience, we get frustrated. We feel offended. We might even get angry. We take it personally and it leaves a lasting impression. Some studies show that 50% of customers switch after one bad experience. 80% switch after a second. Of course, this depends on the impact of the bad experience, but still. Big numbers. Almost no second chances.

The opposite is true for brands that make us feel good. In a sea of sameness, it all comes down to how an experience makes us feel. And this good feeling has a direct impact on repeat purchases. We don’t even have to do any research for that. The pursuit of refining details can be endless, but here are three areas to guide effort.

Make it easy

People prefer easy to difficult. Our brains and behaviour usually instinctively choose the path of least resistance. We appreciate and remember when others make it easy for us to get things done. And we get frustrated when experiences are more challenging than they should be. That’s why people love an easy return policy, for example.

Use customer feedback

Customers are a great source of feedback. They notice details that you and I often do not. They get in touch with frustrations that we are not aware of. It’s simple, but far too little is done with it. Uber has built feedback into the heart of their business model. By collecting and prioritising experience ratings from both drivers and passengers, Uber has managed to create an environment that encourages kindness and that leads to better experiences overall.

Prioritise desired brand experiences

Whether it’s design, brand identity, messaging or packaging, brands have the ability to fine-tune small details that can have an impact. Consider, for example, the sound of a sent email, which gives users a sense of emotional satisfaction. ‘Swoof’. It’s sent.

“The details are not the details. They make the design”

This famous quote by Charles Eames, world famous for his contributions in architecture and design, says it all. Emotionally appealing experience design comes from insights and ideas that are distilled down to the details. And when it comes to creating desirable brand experiences that stand out from the competition and keep customers coming back for more, it’s all hidden in these details.