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A (somewhat scary) Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Risky, whose subjects were Risk Managers. And little did they know that a dark and evil force threatened the future happiness of their wonderful kingdom!

The king and his court (“the staff”) of the Risky kingdom decreed that a new castle (“website”) must be built and so they hired the best designers and builders in the land to give their subjects (“members”) the most wonderful castle that could ever embody the golden ideal of digital relationships.

These designers proceeded in their royal task with a grand collaboration among the king and the court to generate ideas about what would serve their subjects best. The king and the court said, “Let the new castle be modern, exciting, and dynamic, not boring and conservative like the old one!” And the designers pictured the exciting, dynamic castle they would build – but with modern plumbing and a sleek exterior (in a mobile-friendly framework). This would be a castle where the Risky subjects would linger and engage, allowing the king and his court to create powerful and fruitful relationships with them.

And so, into the cave of creativity the designers went, spinning threads of beautiful design and structure. After creating several different versions, the first mostly just exciting and dynamic, the second, mostly just modern and sleek, they finally found the exact combination of exciting, dynamic, modern and sleek. They brought it to the king and the court, who oohed and ahhed, because the new castle would look and feel exciting, dynamic, modern and sleek, and would no longer be boring and conservative, and thereby bring joy to their subjects everywhere.

shocked business woman whilst working on her pc.jpegBut, alas and alack, though the king, the court, and the designers all rejoiced in the exciting, dynamic, modern, and sleek design for the castle, one which was no longer boring and conservative, they were, in fact, deceived. They had all been blinded by the conjurer of lies and deceit, the bane of strong digital relationships, “The Dark Prince of Assumptive Reasoning.” This evil sorcerer had almost succeeded in blinding the king and the court and the designers as to what the subjects of the kingdom really wanted.

But just in time, some wise UX designers and analytics professionals, who’d been warned about the evil Dark Prince of Assumptive Reasoning, and his destruction of strong and happy digital relationships, said, “Wait! Let us walk among the people and learn their true desires.”

So, they talked to the subjects at royal gatherings, through surveys, and other methods of end-user, I mean subject research, only to find that the subjects proudly described themselves as “boring” and “conservative” – traits inherent to their identities as risk managers. They didn’t want an exciting, dynamic, modern, and sleek castle! Such a castle would make them feel alienated from the king and court! They wanted the castle to be like them--maybe a little staid (it doesn’t have to be actually boring), and of course, conservative.

The designers went back to the cave of creativity to spin the new design that focused on castle enhancements that would truly make the subjects happy, such as a more news-based site, personalized content, less of a transaction-focused experience online, and a more human-like connection with the organization. The Dark Prince of Assumptive Reasoning skulked away from the kingdom, defeated, but surely plotting to despoil some other kingdom’s digital relationships with its subjects.

Subjects throughout the kingdom now engage within the castle/website regularly, making the human connections they so desired, and they, along with the king, the court, and the designers all lived happily ever after.

Maybe not a very spooky fairytale--but a VERY surprising one!

And if you did not quite get the moral of the story – qualitative and quantitative analytics are essential to making good decisions--whether you’re building a new castle, designing a new website, or any other business decision that can change how your constituents engage with you and your organization.

Frank Klassen

Written by Frank Klassen