The importance of creating wow moments
3 minutes read
When was the last time you had a wow moment? When something really exceeded your expectations, and left you thinking wow, that was utterly brilliant. For me it was a few weeks ago at the ABBA Voyage show. Wow, what a show!
The ABBA Voyage is a virtual ABBA concert at a purpose-built venue in London. Virtual versions of ABBA (dubbed Abbatars) perform their greatest hits, backed by a live band. You can take a look at a trailer for the ABBA Voyage to get an idea of what the show is like.
On paper the concept sounds like it shouldn’t work. Why would someone pay to see a virtual band when they can see a real band? Why pay to see a recorded show, when they can see a live show in London’s West end for the same money? However, believe me, even if you’re not a fan of ABBA’s music this is one show you should experience for yourself. I was left pondering whether ABBA have spent the $175 million dollars the show is rumoured to have cost on inventing a time machine to transport the band from 1979 to the present day. As you watch virtual 1970s versions of Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Bjorn and Benny perform on the stage your brain is simultaneously telling you that this is real, and yet can’t be real at the same time. It really is amazing (take a look at this article about how the ABBA Voyage technology works if you’d like to know how they pull the trick off).
Whether you’re attending a show, or using a product or service, wow moments matter. I’ve written before about the peak-end rule (see Why Legoland should consider the peak-end-rule) and the importance of creating wow moments for your users. We have a tendency to fixate on the very best and worst parts of an experience, so wow moments can help to create a really positive lasting impression. Wow moments can help turn a good user experience into a great user experience. They can help turn a sceptic into a real advocate (just like me harping on about the ABBA Voyage show).
Wow moments can be big, like the moment you first see the virtual versions of ABBA strutting their stuff, or small, like the first time you discover that an iPad will magically readjust the screen aspect between vertical and landscape when rotated. Wow moments don’t just happen by accident. Here are some tips for creating wow moments for your users.
Map the user experience
The first step to creating wow moments is to identify where wow moments could happen, and where they are likely to have the most impact for your users. Creating an experience map, such as the one shown below will help you to do this.
An experience map captures the user’s journey, including what they are doing and experiencing at each step. By mapping the current user experience (or intended user experience) you can start to identify opportunities to create wow moments. Where can you surprise and delight your users? Where can you exceed their expectations?
Aim for early wow moments
It’s important to create wow moments early on in a user journey because they can help shape positive first impressions. I’ve written before about the importance of first impressions (see The importance of product first impressions). Think about how you can wow users early on so that they persist with a product or service after their initial use.
Aim for lots of wow moments
Rather than creating lots of wow moments there is the temptation to focus all of your energies on creating one almighty wow moment. However, this can be a risky and often expensive strategy because big wow moments tend to be expensive, and if it falls flat you have no more wow moments up your sleeve. Instead, it’s better to aim for lots of wow moments. This ensures that you can spread your bets and can repeatedly wow your users.
Show, don’t tell to evaluate and get buy-in
Just as the ABBA Voyage show shouldn’t work on paper, but most certainly does when experienced live, it’s important to have users and stakeholders experience wow moments (or a prototype of them) for themselves, rather than relying on descriptions of what will happen.
Creating realistic prototypes of wow moments can help to get buy-in from sceptical stakeholders and can be used to evaluate wow moments with users. For example, what you think will be a wow moment, might not be for your users and it’s important to learn this as soon as possible.
Wow moments matter. They can help turn a good user experience into a great user experience and can help create advocates for your product or service. When creating wow moments for your users it’s important to:
- Map the user experience – Identify opportunities for wow moments within the end-to-end user journey.
- Aim for early wow moments – Create early wow moments to help shape positive first impressions.
- Aim for lots of wow moments – Focus on creating lots of wow moments to repeatedly wow your users.
- Show, don’t tell to evaluate and get buy-in – Prototype wow moments so that users and stakeholders can experience them.
- Why Legoland should consider the peak-end-rule (UX for the Masses)
- The importance of product first impressions (UX for the Masses)
- WOW Moments – 7 Examples to show how you can use them (UserGuiding)