How the lack of a seamless, multi-channel response put me off helping in the future

Posted on: March 18th, 2014 by Fransgaard 2 Comments

With today’s vast digital estates there should be no surprise that sometimes there’s a glitch in the matrix even for the most pixel-perfect companies.

When I spot something out of order I normally make a point of letting the company know, but after the experience I recently had, I probably won’t in the future… or I’ll at least think twice about it.

It all started with a Google search linking to a mobile optimised interface

Using my iPad I searched on Google for a specific content I knew to exist on Company X’s website.

Unfortunately, clicking the link sends me through a “clever” redirect to an iPad optimised interface taking me to the homepage rather than the requested content page, effectively preventing me from reaching the content page via iPad.

So I tweeted the issue

In an attempt to be helpful, I shared the issue with Company X on Twitter as I suspected this would be an issue for all content pages accessed this way.

And they replied! Great!

Then I DMed the issue

I was then requested to explain the issue again via Twitter Direct Message, which I did.

In response I was asked to send a screenshot. I wasn’t sure a screenshot of the Google search results or Company X’s homepage on iPad would provide any value, but I felt since I started this I should try and help as much as I could.

So I took a screenshot of the Google search results and sent it in a Twitter Direct Message.

Then I submitted the issue via a web form

I thought I had done my part to be the Good  Samaritan, but  it wasn’t enough. I was then asked to submit the screenshot via a webform on Company X’s site.

Okay, fine! I completed the web form, attached the screenshot and wrote “As requested per Twitter conversation“.

Then I was asked to explain the issue… again… really?

Company X’s response to the screenshot submitted via the web form was that they needed the story behind the screenshot to understand what the issue was.

Frustration was growing, but I still believed I had a duty to see it through. After all, I started it! So I explained the issue for the third time.

And now I’ve been asked to take a screenshot of my original explanation on Twitter!

…uhmmm…. to be honest I’m still trying to figure out how to respond to this bizarre request… or whether to respond at all, because I am not sure I can provide any more value to solving this issue.

What have we learned today?

It is not enough to monitoring to social channels and respond to customers.

Companies have to respect the customers’ time by listening what is being said and responding with a developing conversation rather than provide a digital equivalent of Groundhog Day.

Time is finite and customers online do not have enough to spare, so when they do, treat their time with respect.

How to migrate all members of a public Twitter list to your own Twitter list

Posted on: March 7th, 2014 by Fransgaard No Comments

I recently joined SalesForce as their EMEA Creative Director and I wanted to connect with those of my new colleagues who are on Twitter.

There are several good Twitter lists with SalesForce people, but having to follow each individual manually and then manually add them to my own SalesForce Twitter list would take too long.

So I was looking for a solution to do this fast. it took me a while to find a solution, but the solution is very simple and straight forward so here is how I did it:

1: Use to follow members of a public list.


2: Use to select tweeps to add to your own list


That’s it!

Know a quicker way or another Twitter tip? Please share in the comments below.

Is Facebook’s information overload problem also a problem for the Social Business Workplace?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2014 by Fransgaard 5 Comments

I’ve just read an article called “Facebook Is A Fundamentally Broken Product That Is Collapsing Under Its Own Weight” – The article highlights a growing problem for Facebook users: “there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see”. 

And according Zuckerberg’s Law of Information Sharing, this double’s every year so theoretically by Christmas 2014 we will be faced with an average of 3,000 post to deal with.

The historical problem with the Social Workplace

When social media initiatives first hit the workplace, they were hidden in the corners as small isolated grassroots initiatives started, some times with but mostly without, the management’s blessing.

However, as they proved effective, the more forward-looking companies started to join up the dots in order to create a fully connected Social Business using a single, standardised work interface.

I can’t find my information-needle in the data haystack

But with the joining up of isolated networks comes heaps of new data not relevant to most employees.

I did a social business project a while back, which had a filtering option of content by departments, topics, dates, file types etc lots of faceted search filtering the main display to filter out information, but maybe it should be the other way: Maybe it should be filtering in information.

Contextual information

Many companies have a Social Enterprise software such as SalesForce Chatter, IBM Connections, Yammer, etc. that in effect works as a Facebook for the workplace… and increasingly is facing the same problem as Facebook.

What if this stream is filtered by your job role and current project context? It would look at the information available to you and prioritize:

  • Colleagues assigned to the same project
  • Colleagues with relevant subject knowledge
  • Projects/documents of similar nature

This is a crude example and as an employee you would still have the ability to expand the information shown. You may want to always see information from your manager or peers. You may want to turn off company-wide broadcasts and assign those to a digest email.

Channel/ device filtering

In fact, maybe the system could show different information depending your device. If you are a traveling salesman out by a customer, accessing the system via your mobile phone, you probably don’t care about what everybody else is doing and only really want the information relevant to the task at hand.

38 articles later: An index of my 2013 blog posts

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by Fransgaard No Comments

Did you know I closed my first blog in 2001? Anyway, in 2009 I wanted to tweet something that I simply couldn’t fit in 140 characters and soon after I realised I was actually blogging again and this blog was born.

As I did in 2010, 2011 and 2012 here follows the index of my 2013 articles in chronological order.

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting and I hope to see you again next year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  1. How to add social design to your user experience design
  2. Ripples of you – Thoughts on Black Mirror episode “Be Right Back” based on personal experience
  3. An industry growing up: The 5 emerging social media areas of expertise
  4. Simple Design is the same as Good Comedy
  5. The Social Janitor: Big Data in the Social Enterprise
  6. The forgotten corner stone of a Social Business: The Employee
  7. People ask how much time I spend on Twitter. The answer is: “None”.
  8. I work for IBM, but what value do I bring to my previous employer, Capgemini?
  9. Is “Mobile First” technology or behaviour?
  10. How to avoid getting your Twitter stream flooded by Power Tweeters
  11. My favourite Top 5 Covers of Daft Punk’s amazing new track “Get Lucky”
  12. She’s no longer an Instagram friend
  13. One year on…
  14. The Self-Aware Social Business
  15. 10 Examples of UX/Design Principles
  16. How LoveFilm’s UX confused me with the simplest of tasks
  17. Last night’s Social Business Lounge + Facebook, the biggest corporate collaboration tool
  18. How the Cat Beard Craze is teaching me Japanese
  19. Soundbites from Friday 24 May at Digital Shoreditch 2013
  20. Four blasts from the past. Great digital virals from the history of the web.
  21. Tweeting about the new Reuters site, revealed a more fundamental communication issue.
  22. When rules and experience prevent us from thinking creatively
  23. 5 tips to make your presentation sharable in social media
  24. The unexpected benefits of the Social Serendipity that manifests within the Social Business
  25. Getting an omni-channel customer service experience as a Virgin advocate
  26. Social Media is nothing on its own
  27. The longevity of websites
  28. Omni-channel is not a matter of technology but employee mindset
  29. Cyberbullying: Who’s to blame? Us? The Government? The Social Networks?
  30. Social Business Cornerstone: Omni-channel work environment for employees
  31. When a great experience is so inappropriate it cannot be shared on social media
  32. My personal 7 point social media crisis plan of action
  33. Oh no, not another “UX; What does it mean?” debate
  34. Using the 5 Whys to find your Why
  35. 4 soundbites on social media from October’s “First Tuesday” event
  36. This is what my personality looks like using the latest profiling tool from IBM
  37. My professional reading list for 2013
  38. Rediscovering the joy of creativity through Tokyo Designers Week

Rediscovering the joy of creativity through Tokyo Designers Week

Posted on: December 17th, 2013 by Fransgaard No Comments

Above: Visitors are given bright stickers to stick on a black container. Already after the first day, the container is covered with stickers.

I’ve always associated Japanese design with tranquil quality and attention to detail. An industry full incredibly talented, serious professionals.

This year I had the chance to visit Tokyo Designers Week for the first time and it flipped my perception of Japanese art and design on it’s head.

Rather than a museum-like atmosphere, the event was filled with colour, noise and movement. And the design and artworks were full of crazy ideas all seemingly driven by one thing: Fun!

To me seeing “Creativity” and “Fun” in the same context was like rediscovering an old friend.

In recent years my industry (the digital one) has grown up rapidly and projects are now big business that need to be justified with stats, numbers, assurances, case studies and so on and so forth. But by being so sharp at delivering value, are we risking losing the fun part that makes things as contagious as they are effective?

Many of things on display at Tokyo Designers Week were very interactive to the point where trying to capture them in photos was pointless, even video wasn’t adequate. But here are a few videos from the event followed by a gallery of photos from the whole Japan trip.

Draw on a paper character and see your character animated digitally

This dome had people all around it bouncing balls from when we arrived till we left.

Yummy chocolate art

Interactive emersive experience

Holiday snaps from my Tokyo/Kansai trip 2013

My professional reading list for 2013

Posted on: December 4th, 2013 by Fransgaard No Comments

I was doing my end-of-year review and my manager asked me to add any professional books I’d read over the course of the year.

To my surprise I’ve manage to read no less than 24 books and they’ve all been great reads so I thought I’d share them with you in no particular order:

User Experience

Presentation technique

Social Media/ Social Business

Workshop and Creativity

This is what my personality looks like using the latest profiling tool from IBM

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013 by Fransgaard No Comments

You may have seen this in the news already, but Michelle Zhou (Researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose) explains the project in details in this VentureBeat article.

My colleague Marie Wallace has written a great article distilling her own profile infographic and I have copied the following list from her blog:

  • Hedonism: seeking pleasure and sensuous gratification for oneself.
  • Conservation: emphasizing self-restriction, order and resistance to change.
  • Self-transcend: showing concern for the welfare and interests of others.
  • Open-to-change: emphasizing independent action, thought, feeling, and readiness for new experience.
  • Self-Enhance: seeking personal success for oneself.
  • Excitement: getting out there and living life, upbeat emotions, and having fun.
  • Harmony: appreciating other people, their viewpoints and their feelings.
  • Ideal: a desire for perfection and a sense of community.
  • Curiosity: a desire to discover, find out and grow.
  • Closeness: being connected to family and setting up home.
  • Self-expression: discovering and asserting one’s own identity.
  • Openness: the extent to which a person is open to experience a variety of activities.
  • Neuroticism: the extent to which a person’s emotion is sensitive to the environment.
  • Conscientiousness: a tendency that a person acts in an organized or spontaneous way.
  • Extraversion: a tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others.
  • Agreeableness: a tendency to be compassionate and coorperative towards others.

4 soundbites on social media from October’s “First Tuesday” event

Posted on: October 2nd, 2013 by Fransgaard No Comments

Image “borrowed” from David Keene because it is a good shot of the event; it is shot with Google Glass, which is cool… and it features me somewhere in the audience :-)

Last night’s First Tuesday event promoting Christer Holloman‘s new book “The Social Media MBA in Practice” was great and very inspiring.

Here are 4 paraphrased soundbites from the event, one from each of the four amazing speakers/speaker teams:

Simon Nicholson, Social Media Manager at Honda Motor Europe

Embedding Social into the Business successfully is 10% technology and 90% human interaction.

Find out how social can help the guy designing the cargo hull or the girl in the PR department.

Make sure social is in all the right meetings.

David Keene, Head of Marketing, Google Enterprise

Employees are getting frustrated with the tools offered by their employers as their own personal tools and technologies are more often than not more sophisticated.

Work used to be a place. Now it’s a culture and state of mind.

Dan Scwarzmann, Partner and Norman Lewis, Innovation Lead from PWC

PWC has a system in place that allows them to find experts in niche markets, such as salt mines, incredibly fast. They also use the platform to crowd-source solutions from hundreds of employees.

So the question transforms from “how do you measure ROI on social?” to “How do we charge for the value social brings?

Charging for time spent simply doesn’t work so PWC charge based on value to the customer.

Olle Hagelin, Senior Manager, Head of Quality Feedback at Sony Mobile Communications

Value in listening to the unedited and raw social data. Forget about spending millions on questionnaires where customers actually don’t have the freedom to say was really on their minds.

Top image shows scale of various data sources, bottom image shows results of listening to social.