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Five E’s and a pink flamingo Pt3 - Come on in

Recap: We have our five people for the experience, we have made them wait just a little longer to be told they are “in” part 1 can be found here and part 2 here

At this point my people are fired up ready to go and wanting more, time to give them what they may think is the first step of the experience.

It could be super easy at this point to just give them access to a simple form and let them fill it in… however we are not designing a service here we are designing an experience (two very different things)

Creating a simple form would turn this into a passive thing which we don’t want, we want to keep the hold of that excitement, attention and curiosity for as long as possible and to do this we add friction

Positive friction can go a long way in extending an experience, however it has to be used in the right way and also the right durations or else we can become pretty fatigued by it…. Often this can be felt in poorly designed breakout rooms, the last thing we want is for our participants to get bored, angry or fed up and switch off…

Positive friction can go a long way in extending an experience

To keep the curiosity I sent the below, it has no direct call to action, short sentences with a link and then obviously a little devil emoji (the devil emoji is important mainly due to the social norms and expectations it has in our digital language, it adds to that feeling of being naughty, rebellious, something is coming feeling)

Once they clicked on the link they came to this, I watched on the back end to see how quick people jumped at it, it was fast which is an excellent sign, once they clicked the link they came to this

Here is where we added the friction, in order to get access to their adventure they needed to crack the riddle and they didn't know was coming, what was interesting is that I had a few people message me to say it’s asking for a password, while others figured this out super-fast

My participants who were confused got this answer “everything you need is on that page”, it could have been easy for me to over invest in the design of the page, however the key focus point I wanted people to see were: The banner, title, password and the coffee stain

Something as simple as using words such as misfits and a provocative image add more drama and more feeling of anticipation going into the unknown. It also allows the imagination of people trying to connect dots, something secret cinema does really well.

Point 1 - It could have been easy for me to remove that password and give them instant access, however it is important to keep the exploration feel while still going through the experience (remember that for some this was their first touchpoint of the experience to them)

Ideally I wanted to keep my audience locked in for as long as possible, it was important to try and give them something more than a standard form to fill in at this stage (even though that does come next) as I know once they cracked this riddle they would enter a pretty simply form to fill in. By putting a password on their form it feeds a simple task reward system while also allowing me to control the pace of the experience and build up intensity of excitement etc

Point 2- The reward of cracking the riddle was getting access to progress in their adventure, the next page they would see would be a really simple form allowing them to add some details and pick a number from 1-5. Each number had an item lined up to a mini experience ranging from flamingo, to unicorns, to painting cups, colour by numbers etc, they however did not know what the numbers correlated to.

Point 3 - due to covid-19 postage was delayed which proved a little tricky as the idea was to have them all arrive on the same day, this was a great learning for me as a reminder that if there is any doubt, then there is no doubt it will go wrong somewhere. Luckily I had a bit of a comms plan put in place, which was basically to keep the exchange in conversation and stories for arrival date

Next stop arrival day... :-)

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