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User Experience (UX) as branding.

User Experience (UX) as branding.

The Daily Mash doesn’t give a fuck.

It will take the piss out of or start a fight with anyone if there’s a satirical point to be made or a pomposity-pricking laugh to be had at their expense.

Just ask Mitt Romney.

So, on the face of it, its approach to its website privacy policy is to be expected.

If you can’t read the line at the top it says…

We’ve updated our privacy policy, not that you care. You can read it or click to get rid of this annoying box and carry on as before. WHATEVER.

As far as I can see you can’t actually read the updated policy. Not by clicking on any part of that text at least. Your only click option is the WHATEVER button to the far right.

That might not seem like a big deal.

It raises a smile.

But it’s what the Mash would do isn’t it?

Well it may be what the Mash would do, but I can assure you that there are plenty of brands out there that will happily talk the talk in terms of challenger attitude, but which conspicuously won’t walk the walk when it comes to things like this and the lawyers get involved.

At the first mention of terms & conditions, cookie legislation, and privacy policies, challenger defiance quickly turns to meek compliance.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with cookie legislation compliance. But I do take issue with brands that set their stall out to be the punk of their sector and then don’t follow through consistently.

The Mash follows through. It’s approach to user experience is bang on brand.


Ryanair (I’m not going to link to it) doesn’t give a fuck either.

But not in a good way.

What it does tends to be at my expense rather than Mitt Romney’s.

Yes its headline flight prices are low, but it has a notoriously cavalier attitude to extracting as much money as it can from its customers once its algorithms sense blood in the e-commerce water.

However, credit where credit is due, you have to say that is does follow through consistently. Like the Mash, its approach to user experience is bang on brand.

Although at Ryanair on-brand UX is more about “user extortion” or “at the user’s expense” than it is about user experience.

For example…

This is part of Ryanair’s online check-in user journey.

You’ve already paid for your flights and already said “no thanks” to travel insurance at the time of booking.

But Ryanair makes you jump through all the revenue-adding hoops once more before you get your boarding cards.

Its approach to user journey planning is aggressive.

As evidenced by the choice architecture of this screen.

Big green buy button.

And, at first glance, no obvious no-buy option.

If you’re in the middle of this user journey it takes a while to realise that the foreboding, threatening grey text to the left of the buy button is actually clickable. I clicked it more in hope than expectation of escape.

It makes no allowance for the fact that I might already have travel insurance cover.

“No thanks, I will take the risk” is the only no-buy option. And the design is such that this no-buy option is effectively hidden in full view.

Ryanair makes no allowance for the “No thanks, I already have insurance” truth of the matter.

It isn’t the purpose of this post to make value judgements about Ryanair’s approach to business and customer service.

Its ostensibly cavalier approach to user experience clearly works from its perspective.

The purpose of this post is to reflect on the fact that user experience can be a branding discipline as well as a commercial or customer service discipline.

Really good UX should expedite user journeys and reinforce brand values.

(Whether the customer likes them or not).




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