December 17, 2016
The holidays are upon us! It is time to enjoy a vacation and spend time with our loved ones. But, of course, this doesn't mean that we put down our phones, stop using websites, and stop using the apps we love.
Have you even been on a site that has a little holiday flare? A winter snowflake, some holiday lights, and a happy snowman? What about a product that sends you a short holiday greeting to wish you well?
How did these little holiday accents make you feel?
Design Joyful Emails
The holidays are synonymous with joy, togetherness, and giving. You should harness this wave of goodness to emotionally connect with your users.
While promotions and sales engage users fiscally, they do not engage them emotionally. Reaching out with a discount code is great for someone who wants the lowest price, but it does not build a loyal, emotional connection.
In addition to your promotions, send a short message wishing your customers well. Wish them happiness, joy, and tell them how thankful you are to have them as a customer. Ask what you can give them, not what they can give you. Use this as a chance to get valuable feedback and to show that you see your customers as more than just liquid assets.
Make sure that these appeals to emotion are sincere and are not trying to sell anything. Be neutral in the appeal to specific holidays, but be sincere in your emotional connection.
Design a Subtle Holiday Theme
Small, wintery design accents are a safe way to add a sense of personalization and freshness to your product. Something as simple as a snowflake, holiday lights, or a holiday neutral theme can increase the propensity that your customers purchase your product or increase their engagement.
You can try to use some free vector icons (I recommend Flat Icon) to quickly add thematic touches. A customer in a good mood is much more likely to purchase or engage in your product than a customer in a bad mood. Moreover, happy customers are much more likely to share your product and give you positive reviews.
It also adds a sense of freshness and care to your product. Often, customers do not know what happens behind the scenes — all the hours of user testing, DevOps, and engineering that go into making the product run. When you add some new seasonal accents, it adds a sense of continued freshness to your product.
Design Localization: Be Sensitive to Different Cultures and Locations
People celebrate different things around the world and, of course, the seasons are different around the globe. Be mindful of showing a winter theme to all of your customers, as some of them will be in summer. You can use personalization methods like feature flags or custom landing pages to personalize themes depending on your customers' locations and characteristics.
You want to be mindful not to alienate customers, so if you are risk averse, then you can stick to location-scoped seasonal themes.
If you are more adventurous, you can try to personalize themes based on the actual holidays, like Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and Ramadan — but make sure you remain consistent and respectful.
In Summary: Design for Happiness
It's the little things that count. Making your customers happy does not need to be something you spend millions on for new features and enhanced support. Sometimes it is something as simple as a snowman or a nice, personalized greeting that makes all the difference.
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