How to pass from an essential Underlying Dimension to Experiential Design
Manchester, May 10th, 2018
Manchester-based integrated digital agency, e3creative, is revolutionising the way brands are connecting and engaging consumers to deliver a truly memorable and impactful experience with every touch point.
Strategic innovation is the core of every service and product crafted by e3creative. This is an agency renown for intertwining creativity and strategy to create groundbreaking, yet sophisticated digital experiences that not only wow audiences but seamlessly surpasses business objectives. With their latest mobile releases trending on the Apple store and web platforms winning awards, e3creative unlocks the potential of their diverse, multi-sector client base. To find out how ideas are transformed in the agency, through user insight, we caught up with Managing Director Jake Welsh.
Thirty-year-old Jake studied a Graphic Design BA (hons) course at University of Salford School of Arts and Media and also received 1st class honours degree at The Manchester Metropolitan University in the New Media Design and Web Development programme.
After graduation Jake pursued employment in Manchester’s emergent digital sector. He noticed a gap in the market with creative agencies releasing a high number of subpar products, focusing on quantity over quality, and specialising in one service. Jake noticed the disappointment from businesses expecting more than they were receiving and their frustrations of needing to retain a collection of agencies for services that overlap and he ventured out to create a solution.
With a relentless approach to integrating digital, he started e3creative out of his family home in Lancashire. After retaining a few key clients and proving the value of the approach, the business started to progress quite rapidly. Five steady years in, in 2015, e3creative hit a major milestone as a 50% stake was sold to Manchester football legend Gary Neville. Jake continued his role as Managing Director and Gary took a backseat to operations and influenced the agency from behind the curtains with strategic guidance and financial stability.
Jake points out, “All of the clients we collaborate with are as passionate about their craft as we are and whether they’re an energetic startup or multinational corporation, we take the time to understand their industry. By thinking ahead and unleashing progressive uses of technology, our integrated teams seamlessly put users at the forefront of a brand’s digital footprint.”
To deliver their unique approach, as new work comes forward, e3creative facilitate a series of immersive workshops with the client as part of their onboarding process.
Will you expand on what is involved in the initial stages of a project at e3creative?
When new opportunities enter the agency, we insist on executing an unprecedented level of research to fuel creative concepts and ensure they’re feasible and will perform as well as expected. To gather these details we undergo an exploratory stage, which involves:
The client and agency relationship works best if we fully understand their background in terms of brand positioning, target audiences and what tactics they’ve previously tried. These details enable us to assess what has worked in the past and what hasn’t to pinpoint peaks and troughs, whilst highlighting potential blockers. In this stage, our teams also carry out market research to understand key competitors, industry and consumer trends, and opportunities to tap into, among other factors.
In the discovery phase, a brand’s value offering is understood and an objective is set. We collaboratively put a plan together on how to best communicate it whether that is tied to supporting an existing digital presence or enhancing it with digital marketing or expanding it with a new web platform or mobile application.
Establishing user personas is a process we undergo to identify who we are designing for and align goals to specific user groups. Research into consumer behaviour is compiled and analysed to acknowledge patterns by taking into account factors such as: device and browser choices and likely access times, motivations, expectations, cultural and educational background, industry-specific trends and beyond. We create a realistic and reliable set of personas representing key demographics in the market to customise a product that emphasises their needs.
A user’s experience with a product, application or service is an emotional response and all touch-points are influential and resonate differently with different individuals, depending upon their knowledge, previous experiences, physical attributes, abilities, values and sociocultural background. By using this insight we are able to create use-test scenarios for problem analysis and idea development and test how user-groups would react to them based on hypothetical scenarios. A well-defined persona fuels the entire strategy by adding logic to the artwork.
Once the personas are identified, our teams facilitate a user journey exercise. This involves running through each persona’s potential experience with the company or organisation and indepthly acknowledging their thoughts and feeling to further identify pain points and opportunities. With this insight we ideate a ‘happy path’ to resemble the best case scenario for each scenario in an effort to establish user-journeys in the digital platform that consistently surpass service expectations.
What else is user-insight used for?
User insight is vital to all stages of a digital production from the planning, through to design and developing, launching and ongoing marketing. As an integrated digital agency, we see first-hand the impact it has on a business’s ability to reach and surpass goals at all stages and highly recommend a thorough initial kick-off meeting to drive the strategy and make informed decisions throughout – right from the beginning.
We’ve spoken about how this information is needed to validate decisions whilst igniting brands and launching new products or campaigns, and it is equally important to run user tests post-launch to ensure the website or application is performing well and meeting expectations.
If you’re investing in a digital asset to represent your business, it’s paramount to have it operating at its peak when it matters most. Having this user-insight and constantly monitoring and optimising with evaluation tools safeguards a brand’s digital landscape and puts it at the forefront. Our UX and marketing teams are increasingly cross-pollinating to combine research methods and expertise and optimise the platform to increase performance and conversions.
By Geny Caloisi.