I first heard the phrase at a digital marketing conference I attended several years ago and it changed the way I think about user experience design.
To me, “surprise and delight” means designing for moments. It’s about establishing an emotional connection with your product’s users by creating a unique and personal experience for them.
Fast forward to 2017, I joined GiftYa team where our focus is creating a meaningful, delightful and surprising new gifting experience for users of the app and website. It’s more than just the ability to send or receive a gift with GiftYa, it’s how it feels to send or receive a gift with GiftYa.
Here are a few of the things I love about GiftYa:
- The ability to send a gift for any merchant. I’m not limited to the large brand gift cards I can find online or at the store. I’m not even limited to the retailers who have gift cards. The diner with the incredible hashbrowns in the small town where my sister lives - yes. The coffee shop on campus where my stepson goes to college - yes. The used bookstore beside the coffee shop - yes.
- I can personalize a gift with a photo or video and add a message. Many of the GiftYas I send feature a photo or video of my dog. Btw, she looks adorable in a birthday hat. However, I also send non-doggie GiftYas. For example, when several friends visited my hometown of Nashville recently, I sent them GiftYas for Loveless Cafe with a picture I took of their iconic sign and a message to make sure they tried their famous biscuits.
- There’s nothing to forget or lose. I have an impressive collection of gift cards. Not because I don’t like the places they are for, but because I always forget to use them. With GiftYa, instead of carrying around a gift card and remembering to use it, you connect the gift to your Visa or Mastercard so it’s always there. You don’t have to do anything special to use your GiftYa - just pay like you normally would using the Visa or Mastercard you connected it to and GiftYa automatically credits your account.
- You get a text message telling you GiftYa has credited your account. This is probably my favorite feature. Sometimes I forget I have a GiftYa to a particular store or restaurant, but after I make a purchase there, I get a text message saying, “GiftYa just credited your account!” So, not only do I get to eat a delicious cranberry-orange muffin from my favorite bakery, there’s a delightful reminder that GiftYa just paid for it.
- You can see when a gift you’ve sent has been used. Sometimes you know you’ve bought a gift someone will really like. Other times, it feels like you’re just buying something to check “buy a gift” off your to-do list. I love giving gifts, but I want it to be something the recipient will use and enjoy. With GiftYa, I get a text message letting me know when the GiftYa I sent has been used. So, instead of wondering if they used the gift I can actually see when they used it.
I guess it’s pretty obvious, I’m proud to be part of the GiftYa team. Not only because I get to work with smart, creative and talented people who are dedicated to providing an experience that surprises and delights our users; but, also because it’s a product I enjoy using myself.
Written by Mary Beth McGruder, Director of User Experience