What KLM Airlines Can Teach Us About UX

I want to be the Czar of Delight.

The power of “delighters” has been covered by Stephen P. Anderson in his book Seductive Interaction Design and it was also part of a recent lecture given by Jared Spool.  So much of user experience design hinges on the feelings of the users.  Does your product/website/app match the user’s expectations?  How does it make them feel?  Lots of psychological tests have been performed to show that happy people think more clearly and are more creative.

So why isn’t “happy-maker” a job?  Why isn’t there a bigger investment in doing what KLM Airlines did in 2010?

KLM Airlines sought out customers who Tweeted about their upcoming flights, and then they bought them gifts.  The gifts ranged in size, shape, and cost, but they were all unique.  The gifts were meant to be just for the passengers and no two gifts were alike.  It doesn’t bother me that this is a publicity move.  Every company in the world can feel free to do publicity moves that are meant to make customers happier!

KLM Airlines, in this instance, did for the business world what Improv Everywhere has been doing for random people.  They created delight.

The investment of a few gifts and a small amount of time KLM Airlines generated One. Million. Tweets….Alone!

Imagine the impact that this kind of small investment in happiness could have on a startup!

User Experiences that are built on happiness will create revenue.  Happy customers don’t complain; delighted customers become loyal.

So here is my plea:
I want to be the Czar of Delight!  That should be my job title.

I want to go in to work everyday with the sole purpose of developing new and interesting ways to delight customers, consumers, stakeholders, and random people.

Whoever is reading this can feel free to hire me for this, but if not me (and that would be unfortunate), then someone must take this role more seriously.

A sub-title to “User Experience Designer” should be “Happiness Promoter” or “Delighter Specialist”.


Here is a Happiness Link Dump to Make Your Day Brighter!


(My favorite!!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s