The Italian operation of a global telecommunications company had been very successful in developing and launching the ‘My Network’ app at the end of 2011, aiming to build an independent, user-generated picture of cellular network strength across Italy.
While the app was successful in early user adoption, the focus on identifying network issues had driven customers to dwell on the negative component of the network coverage, e.g. “the signal in my area is bad – why?”, rather than promoting a positive focus for the customers “the signal here is really strong!”. Given the tools to voice an opinion, customers seemed to be more motivated to provide complaints rather than compliments, which is a well-known online social dynamic.
The global group asked Headshift to support the local organisation in addressing this issue by considering what social features and functions would shift the experience towards a more positive approach and would introduce an element of sustained engagement on the app.
We started by organising workshops and interviews with key stakeholders (marketing, customer relations and technical teams) to gather initial requirements, define a storyboard, the social interaction map, and brainstorm potential new app features.
We then designed use cases and defined game dynamics that would trigger and sustain engagement on the app. We also identified an overarching theme for the app: a metaphor to drive users interaction with the underlining architected game mechanics, to create a different social and psychological space which users could identify with more closely. The metaphor also helped to convey the actions and logic of the platform through storytelling and evocative words.
The final deliverables of our engagement included:
- A social strategy report containing the designs and guidelines for future development of the app, provided as a highly visual booklet detailing the suggested approach and exploring design concepts in detail.
- a high-level technical assessment identifying the optimal off-the-shelf technical platforms for the development of the application.
The project team was pleased with the outcome of the project, and we agreed that the development would be delivered in-house after handover from our team, who remained on hand to support the client as required.