How to Create Powerful Experiences for Your Audience – Part VIII: Be Well-Balanced

Alicia Willard

Blog eight of an eight-part series on the tenets of a powerful user or audience experience

For other posts in the series visit:
  1. Useful
  2. Usable
  3. Findable
  4. Credible
  5. Desirable
  6. Accessible
  7. Valuable

So far in this series, we’ve talked about the following seven tenets: useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, accessible, and valuable. In the final post in our series on the tenets of a powerful user or audience experience, I want to discuss how all seven tenets meld to shape and build powerful experiences.
As is evident by the length of this series, there are many aspects that shape and build an experience. Think back to the metaphor that started this discussion: the first time you used a train, bus, subway, or metro system. From the moment you thought about the potential transportation option, your experience with that transportation system started.
Will this public transportation option get me where I need to go? Will I be able to get all the information I need about the transportation system before I use it? Will I be able to navigate the routes and stops? Do I trust the drivers or technology powering the system? Do I want to take this transportation option rather than another? Will I be able to reach the first stop or easily get on? Will traveling via public transportation be beneficial to me in some way?
You may not even realize you ask yourself questions like these because you are answering them faster than you can ask them. However, they are there in the back of your mind, as are the answers (though answers may come later).
Incorporating the tenets in this series into our public transportation metaphor, we found the bus or metro:

  • Useful because it gets you from point A to point B and it gets you there fast
  • Usable because you were able to easily purchase a ticket or card online and add money to it for fare
  • Findable because you could easily navigate the routes and stops
  • Credible because you had not heard of any accidents or major delays
  • Desirable because the sitting areas were clean and spacious
  • Accessible because the stations, platforms, and trains are easy to approach and enter for all individuals
  • Valuable because the system offers extra benefits like a free checked bag

But what happens when one or more of these tenets is missing? Or when a single tenet is so well curated that another falls flat?
If a brand, website, service, or other product does not fulfill a need, audiences and users will not find it useful and therefore not bother to engage. Similarly, if they find these materials or products useful, but cannot figure out how to use it – usable, – they will get frustrated and leave. If audiences and users cannot find your brand or service, how will they even begin to interact? You must be findable.
That is just the first three tenets. While your brand, product, or service might have all three down to a science, none of that matters if audiences and users do not trust you or think you are credible. It will not matter if you are credible if they do not find you and your products desirable – in other words enjoyable, worth having, or recommendable. If audiences and users do not find your brand accessible because it is not easy to approach, reach, understand, enter, speak with, or use, they are cut off from you before they can even try.
Considering all these aspects – even if they are in good shape, – if you do not provide value, audiences and users will not see the point of continuing their engagement with your brand, product, or service. Users and audiences always want the highest value for their money, time, effort, or whatever else they are giving in exchange.
The answer to what happens when one or more tenet is missing is one tenet cannot be missing to truly enhance satisfaction, create new gateways to meet audiences where they are, drive relevancy and context, and establish deeper connections and loyalty. One tenet cannot overpower others because they are all needed in equal measure to provide audiences and users with powerful experiences.
But how do you determine and enhance what makes your brand, product, or service useful, usable, findable, credible, desirable, accessible, and valuable? By talking with your audiences and users.
A user- and audience-oriented mindset is often missing from public affairs campaigns. Achieving each of the experience design tenants takes not only a concerted effort, but also balance and most importantly, audience-based insights and input. Without an approach that prioritizes audience needs and feedback, it is impossible to separate what we think they want from what they actually need.
To create powerful experiences, and ultimately brands, it is imperative to know what audiences think, when they think it, and why they think that. Otherwise, there is a high risk of seriously missing the mark and damaging brands, wasting campaigns, and falling short of goals.

Signal’s three-phase Experience Design Methodology minimizes assumptions to unveil the real problem, ascertains tangible solutions to create effective delivery mechanisms, and verifies that what works in theory also works in the real world.
To turn your brand, product, or services’ experiences into powerful ones, or any other experience design needs, contact

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