How to build magical digital experiences for your customers

Jess Baker, Digital Content & Campaign Specialist,

How exactly can you ensure your users experience magic? What ingredients can transform an average B2B experience into something next-level and memorable? In challenging economic times, with squeezed budgets, is there even room for magic? A panel of digital experience experts answered these questions at our latest event, in partnership with Optimizely.

26’s Chief Experience Officer, Adam Powers, led the conversation with: 

  • Matt Bertocchi, Global Digital Design Lead, Diageo
  • Sunny Kumar, Head of Digital Experience and Visual Design, HSBC Private Bank
  • Gisella Fama, Head of Experience Design, KPMG
  • Elizabeth Gabster, Senior Director – Strategy & Value Advisory, Optimizely
The event panellists answering questions from the audience

Is there room for magic in B2B experience design?

We all know B2B experiences are traditionally drier, with less room for innovation. So we asked our experts how they manage to inject wonder and magic into the B2B experiences they create. The group reminded us that B2B clients have the same desire for engaging experiences as B2C customers. You can strengthen your B2B relationships by adding small, personalised moments of delight to each stage of their experience. Why not run some stats and let customers know what makes their interactions with you unique? Tell them if they buy or use more of a particular product than anyone else in the UK! This impactful technique can easily set you apart from your competitors.

Optimizely’s Elizabeth Gabster explained how to add magic by removing friction. For example, Optimizely build their key accounts completely personalised homepage experiences. This removes unnecessary steps, taking users straight to highly relevant, bespoke content.

Does global consistency across brand and experience add to a customer’s sense of magic?

Matt Bertocchi explained that utilising a design system can help create cohesion and improve experience. For example, let's say a specific button style should have the same function on each of your brand websites. Once the basics are implemented, can you layer on brand-specific copy or animation to sprinkle some magic over the design?

For HSBC Private Bank, creating a digital experience that is consistent globally is key. However, as Sunny Kumar noted, different global markets contain nuances that you should reflect in your experience design. Sunny suggests that these nuances can in fact be great inspiration for design. As the digital world moves fast, keeping on top of global trends can help you discover exciting new ways to innovate.

How do you justify the time and cost of creating magical experiences?

It can be challenging to get buy-in for innovative ideas when budgets are tight and you're under pressure to deliver results. KPMG’s Gisella Famà says that the key lies in storytelling. If you can articulate your ideas in a way that inspires stakeholders, then they’ll come out of meetings wanting to help you turn them into reality!

Elizabeth Gabster added that when your experience design is well thought through, it doesn't need to be expensive! She argued that there may soon be a time when brands have no choice but to find the time to create magic. Business survival may begin to rely on a brand new set of customer expectations. Customers are already expecting you to build experiences for them based on their previous interactions with you.

How do you quantify and report on a sense of wonder?

When adding wondrous elements to design, it’s easy to fall into a trap of assessing them in a subjective manner. Matt Bertocchi emphasised testing and measurement, to remove subjectivity from your reporting. Having a robust testing system justifies the quantitative business value of your decisions. Without this, you're relying on qualitative feedback and feelings experienced internally by your team and externally by your users.

Elizabeth Gabster echoed that experimentation is important, but warned your results may surprise. Whilst on paper you might think you know what the results will be, this may not always be the case!

However, Sunny Kumar provided a final counter point to the discussion. He suggests you should be careful not to let your design process become driven solely by the results of testing and reporting. He observed that large organisations have a tendency to iterate designs based on the metrics they currently measure, which can stifle the space for innovation. Thinking outside the box can springboard you into new ground, entering the place where magic can filter into experience design.

At 26, we don’t just learn from before, we create what comes next. We create impactful digital experiences, guided by insight and strategy, to create excellence for your brand. Want to hear more? Get in touch with us today.  

Jess Baker, Marketing Manager

Jess has experience of planning digital campaigns across a variety of sectors - from live entertainment and creative arts, to charity fundraising and B2B comms. Jess brings her passion for digital storytelling and strategic campaigns to our Marketing team. 

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