Have you experienced a website that made you smile simply because you got from point A to point E with ease instead of Point A -> Point C -> Point D -> Point B -> Point E? Navigating around the web in a simple experience always puts a smile on my face. Now inject some fun while making transitions easy and expected, and you've got yourself a winner.

Simple things can mean a lot. Instantly buying from Zappos in one click makes me happy, I didn’t have to go through 3 screens just to buy something. On top of that finding out I got free shipping is even better. Icing on the cake? Getting to the confirmation page with a Bassett Hound in a hat just makes me smile.

Zappos confirmation page with bassett hound

 

Fun Can Work Wonders! :-)

Fun can work in almost any website or any application, but you need to be careful about where to inject it. If you're like Zappos and you know you offer a superior customer experience then you can probably inject fun all along the process.

For instance, towards the end of a transaction path that your website visitor is on, inserting copy on a page like "You're almost there, then you can go back to shooting pool with your friends!" can be a fun and engaging type of message. Plus, it could even get people talking about the experience.

Real-time messaging company Slack does a great job at this as your page loads when you log in.

Example of Slack's fun messaging.
Slack is awesome at their fun in-app messaging.

At Dasheroo we try to inject a little levity both within our application as well as our email marketing. The goal is to engage people and get them to log in and be active. It’s simple and to the point:

Dasheroo fun email example
Dasheroo’s email that goes out to people to try to get them to view their dashboards.

 

When Fun Doesn’t Work :-(

There are times you should curb your enthusiasm for fun. You need to put yourself in your customer's shoes and think to yourself "would I want to encounter fun at this point in my experience?" If the answer is no, you should probably avoid the puns.

For instance, if you've got rotating messaging when your page loads and it reads something cute like "Go grab some coffee while we get you ready to go!" then you've programmed your second message to display after a minute "We're corralling the data for your new account, you must be important!" then you've programmed a third message, a fourth and fifth, that's not a great way to use humor. Now you're displaying funny messaging as your user is completely frustrated with your service.

In the example below each one of these messages was displayed one-by-one as a page was attempting to load until it got to the final message “Your account may be temporarily overloaded.” This is way too many messages not to mention inappropriate; I wanted my data to load, not to read that doing the washing for your wife was more important.

Bad Example of online customer experience modals
Here's a great example when not to use fun in rotating messages, it should have been cut off after the 2nd cute message. One after another, all of these messages displayed in a 10-minute session.

 

Also, avoid being cute in a customer service email or chat exchange. I'm going out on a limb here, but most people don't begin a chat or email exchange with your company to tell you they love you. Sad, huh? But accurate. So avoid the "Awe shucks" commentary and get to the point of the issue fast, and get it resolved promptly. Your customer will appreciate it!

Published on: Aug 20, 2015