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In the early days of technology when web designers, programmers,
users, and content providers were getting used to providing and
using media and entertainment online, there was somewhat of a
disjointed online experience. In efforts to keep up with the latest
technology: tablets, smartphones, connected-TV, and of course laptops -
content providers were desperate to have "something" available.
In other words, there wasn't the time to spend on designing and
providing a connected and cohesive user interface across all
channels. Instead there was a push to develop an iPad app, to
integrate digital paywalls to the website, to provide an android
and iPhone app, and in the case of entertainment companies to get
up-to-speed with connected-TV.
What this ended up being was a real mish-mash of content and
user interfaces. Consistency was forgotten and instead the focus
shifted to the channel rather than the content. Well, now that the
industry has a bit of time to catch their collective breath (there
aren't any "new" channels on the horizon right now) it is time to
return focus to where it once was: the user.
Ultimately the success and failure of online media and
entertainment comes down to users. The number of paying users.
The number of unique hits to websites. The number of times the iPad
app is downloaded. The number of connected-TV subscriptions. The
user is in charge and what the user needs and wants is a cohesive
A cohesive digital experience can be the clincher for a user
deciding to subscribe, upgrade or simply download an app. Think
about this user experience:
This is not the user experience that is going to generate online
sales and traction. Rather it is the user experience that will turn
users away and convince them to look for alternatives. This is why
it is critical when looking at your digital product offerings and
channels to think of the user:
Being able to answer these questions and thinking like the user
allows media and entertainment providers to really give the user
what they want. Users don't want to have to "work" to subscribe to
or download content - they want and expect it to be easy and
straight-forward. They also want the experience to be the same
across all channels.
Just as you don't notice good customer service but notice really
bad customer service - the same holds true for your users. A user
likely won't notice a cohesive user experience where each channel
has the same look-and-feel and functionality but be guaranteed that
when the user experience breaks down and does not fit together -
your users will notice.
Simply having an app for the tablet market or providing an iPhone app does
not guarantee customers and sales. Everyone has these now - what
media and entertainment companies need to do is think like the user
and give them a connected and consistent experience.
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