At Nervana, the solution is how we deliver the user to the destination. But we won’t even imagine the solution without making emotion a key component of the design. Standard design means knowing who the customer is, what the proof point is, the business case. But your targets aren’t customers. They don’t think in terms of mere business. For the children of “Social Web” and beyond, how do we talk to the heart?
Millennials don’t start with ordered steps. They don’t say, “I start here, I move to there, I end up way over elsewhere.” It’s not about hard structure or logical order. The structure they build is their cocoon of devices and identities, sites and outlets, for connecting with their blogs, sites, mailboxes. But this is just their virtual platform for experiencing their piece of the universe and seeing where it takes them. They don’t know where the journey is necessarily taking them. They care about emotion, experience, about finding something they don’t even know they want or need yet.
We like to call millennials “Generation D.” Touching Generation D at this level means attracting users, engaging them, guiding them, and getting them to come back, over and over.
Feelings can’t be put under a microscope. When you want to understand others’ feelings, you have to (and yeah, it sounds corny) feel them. Only once you’ve done this can you engage someone in return.
Nervana starts with, this is what we need to do to grab the user, to make them feel, and then we work backwards. Our experiences cannot be measured in a scientific way. There is no rhyme, no reason. They simply are. We have striven to reach out to those emotional touchpoints, to provide the experience, and then embrace the reactions, so that they become part of the evolution of the journey.
Generation D is highly influential as a group, and also highly influenceable as individuals. Even online, they act in groups. They create their own micro social networks within the bigger communities, to share likes and dislikes, which they trade. They want to experience and share new things, and also like to check out happenings that have been battle-tested. By harnessing community experiences from the local venue as well as the much larger social media outlets, Nervana helps you exert that influence. You can make recommendations, or even let others do it for you. Push what’s popular, or whatever you want to establish a foothold for. Introduce and popularize, and help your guests ride the wave.
Don’t think of what you’re providing as a product or a message. It’s what you love to say. You have to feel it, and make others feel it. Then you have to understand the reactions, and perfect that message for the next time, and the time after that.
Nervana doesn’t simply deliver the solution to your “Social Web” children. It furnishes the cloud they float on. It makes them feel, and want to keep feeling, their world. Ultimately, this brings them back to you, makes them connect with you, and want to do it over and over.