WHERE WE STARTED

Everyone at Copious believes exceptional digital experiences need to be more than just functional and easy to use. To be considered truly exceptional, they have to connect with users and tell a story.

This is especially true for omnichannel brands, where the interactions with the brand in real life, in-store, and in digital are the most complex. Oftentimes, these brands succeed in person or in-store, where the opportunities for meaningful and tangible interactions are most natural.

Digital simply isn’t as straightforward, but we tackle this challenge every day with our clients by capturing the key elements of what makes these brands successful and extending the brand digitally.

RE-IMAGINING THE JOURNEY TO THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH

Not all brands succeed at this. Disney, for instance, is well-known and simply knocks it out of the park (in the Parks), but doesn’t come close to having the same level of Magic in their digital experience.

WE CREATED A NEW WAY OF PLANNING THE PERFECT DISNEY VACATION BASED ON PERSONALIZED CURATION AND RICH CONTENT EXPLORATION.

In an intense, highly-iterative two weeks, we sketched, drew, white-boarded and designed a concept for exploring and dreaming of a truly Magic Adventure. The experience in the deck below is accompanied by a behind-the-scenes tour of what went into the process.

THE JOURNEY BEHIND THE DESIGN

We chose to draw from classic park design methodology: immersive presentation, rich visuals, and elaborate surprises. This strategy was employed to entice dreamers, build desire, and ultimately take action by booking a trip.

To tell a complete story, we needed to take a user through a core path: Personalization, Exploration, Itinerary & Booking, and Anticipation.

We held a half-day design thinking workshop to bring all the ideas together in one room with a tightly focused agenda: to fill the room with artifacts that would become the base for the work going forward.

One of the key things was to map the entire journey of a user – from general awareness of Disney properties (Walt Disney himself, animated films and movies, characters, toys and even Dole Whip), to research & booking, anticipation, and finally arrival at a Disney Park. We captured an exhaustive set of touch points (media, physical products, digital experiences, people) and mapped them to each of the phases. Get the complete customer journey map.

Once we had the Lay of The Land, we turned our attention to the ‘who’ in our problem. Given our timeframe, we decided to focus on a few audiences we had the most experience and first-hand knowledge with: Parents with two or more kids, and couples without kids.

We further narrowed the personas by adding a few traits we felt would address many concerns and shortcomings without alienating users who did not fit exactly within these characteristics: budget-conscious, planners, and first-time visitors.

THE CONSTRUCT OF A RESPONSIVE EXPERIENCE VS. AN APPLICATION

At first, we designed for a responsive experience, but as we moved through design, we transitioned to a tablet paradigm. If we were building this experience in the real world, we’d need to hook into different systems to seamlessly merge content: live wait-times, geo-fencing within the Parks, and booking across flight, hotel, and dining.

We know that this could shine on a tablet. We also wanted to take advantage of incorporating gestures to create a fully immersive experience within the application. Ultimately, we’d design for both a tablet experience and an adaptive experience for the Web.

PLUSSING & ITERATION

Once we had the core screens wired and designed, we opened up the discussion to a larger group, to validate concepts and punch holes in some thinking and paradigms.

Every two days, we posted up concepts and did a complete walk-through of what we’d designed. Generally, things went well — until we all agreed that the navigation was just not working. We were nearly complete with design, hours left on the clock, when we decided that the nav needed to be re-imagined. We stripped it down to its simplest state and built it to serve a single purpose. Navigation is always complicated to design, but should never feel that way to the user. We generally don’t get to a final idea in just one day. By building on the discussions over the course of the project, we were able to get to a better solution.

The design team at Copious has been a long-time adopter of the idea of “plussing” — a term coined by Imagineers working at Disney inferring that there is always something to improve and there is always room for innovation. Things are never really “done.” This isn’t done. It’s only the beginning. We’ve started conversations and problems that still need solving. Things that will keep us up in the night, things that we’ll come back to tweak and tune. That’s the nature of what design is: Asking why, questioning how things work, and ultimately what we can do to make that experience better and bolder and move the conversation forward.

WHAT WE LEARNED

As with everything we make, we learn a lot and we take those learnings with us as we move forward onto our next project.

When given two weeks, you have to move with a fair bit of agility. You need to be comfortable crumpling up an idea if it isn’t getting the job done. So, we locked ourselves in a room for a couple of days to draw, sketch, whiteboard, try things out, throw things out, and give ourselves license to mess up and run wild.

We had ten thousand ideas. The time constraint helped in bringing focus to the experience we wanted to show and forced prioritization of our efforts over the remaining 12 days. We started with a feature set, agreed on application flow, and set up two-day mini sprints to keep us on schedule.

Working closely as a tight-knit team for a compressed period of time allowed us to get to know some team members that we may not have worked with closely in the past, and helped to create connections with those who are newer to our culture.

WE LOVE TO DREAM BIG

We approach the design with the customer in mind first. There isn’t anyone in the world more important than them. They have real problems, real needs, real emotions. Once we’ve walked in their shoes for a while, we begin to think about how design can take them farther.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into our world. Want to know more? Let’s grab a coffee and chat.