The quiz includes 35 partial images of faces and each includes a different set of four buttons to identify the emotion perceived.
Some caveats to consider:
Cultural factors, mixed emotions, distracted people who are thinking about something else besides what’s in front of them — for example, those of you — who like me — are wondering if Simon Baron-Cohen has any relation to Sacha Baron Cohen.
When you read marketing and sales books, sooner or later you will run into a question that seems to be common in companies. The question is: why don’t sales and marketing get along?
It seems that it is common for these two departments to blame each other:
Sales blames marketing for giving them leads that are not qualified and ready to buy
Marketing blames sales, saying that they don’t put enough effort in converting the sales ready leads into customers
The reason for this disagreement is identified as: a disagreement in the definition of what a qualified, sales-ready lead is exactly.
When a definition is not enough
A qualified, sales-ready lead is an individual that is ready to consider buying products or services. That seems simple enough of a definition — right?
Sure, you can run with that but you won’t get very far. You’ll find yourself taking lots of action, getting things done, and eventually you’ll notice that you’re back at the same place.
While marketing and sales folks may be able to sit at a table to discuss how to define a qualified lead — the definition is partially dependent on the signals the buyer communicates online, through email and other touch points.
The definition depends on the interaction design
Today, a good number of potential buyers use the web to research products, services, and companies. Some aspects of the marketing and sales process are covered through online content and email communications.
The identification of which user interactions we should interpret as a lead getting ready to buy depends on the flows and interfaces designed for these users across touchpoints.
But have these user interaction flows been designed to signal lead qualification or sales readiness?
Collaborating to come up with an unified definition
Both, sales and marketing, would benefit from collaborating with user experience folks to make sure that email, web interactions and other touchpoints are designed with lead qualification in mind. Until this is done — your definition of what a qualified lead is, will remain an abstraction — never mind the leaks in your lead gen and sales funnels.
Adds complexity to the user interface and content strategy in general
Leads to complicated navigation paths
Leads to complexity that multiplies the number of calls to customer support
Makes learning and remembering the user interface harder. Leading to training becoming a necessity
Makes features and resources harder to find and wastes the investment in those hidden features (sometimes leading to users requesting features you already have)
Fragments focused and prioritized engagement that are vital to your KPIs and ROI
Less strategic companies, that develop first and ask questions later, eventually learn that they need to remove features because:
Of any of the issues in the list above
The feature(s) are not used enough
The feature(s) are not aligned with the business model
Cost too much to maintain and don’t contribute much
They take away from the ROI of other, more important features
(Keep in mind that changing something after it has been developed, usually costs around 3X more than when changed during the design process. This is one area where user research and user testing pays off.)
Companies learn that removing features after they’ve been released is not easy because:
Groups of users will threaten to stop being customers. Some will leave.
Removing features creates opportunities for new and existing competitors
Removing features may result in negative press/ reviews that can haunt a business for years
Before you really get going with your startup:
Don’t put the cart before the horse. Don’t start by hiring developers or visual designers. (Just like you wouldn’t hire a construction crew or painters without first having blue prints for a building — you first need an architect — In this case, an user experience architect.)
First find an user experience architect with several skills:
Knows how to conduct user research
Is able to understand the problem(s) behind the problem
Can design with a goal to minimize the need for features
Can create interactive prototypes for user testing
Knows how to conduct user testing
Can detect strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and issues with designs
Can prioritize each of the issues found through testing
Once you discover which features your target users really need, you will need to also understand how these features fit with your product’s life cycle, business model and marketing strategy. (It helps if your UX architect understand these).
Your competitive edge:
Both effectiveness and efficiency
Deeper understanding of your users
Solving the right problems
Saving money by reducing risk and waste
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A friend of mine, a small business owner, was frustrated the other day because she needed someone to help her with her business and she posted a project on a couple of job websites. She soon received a lot of inquiries from people who were not only unqualified to do the job, but their hard-sale communications were relentless, even after she had said “No” to them.
I asked her: Have you looked at your social media followers? Have you noticed if any of your Twitter followers, (for example) provide the services you need?
“No.” She said.
These folks have self-selected by being aware that you exist, by taking the time to find you and decide to keep up with your updates and messages.
We don’t want to over idealize all your followers either…some may have followed you without even noticing your name, without reading your bio, without ever visiting your website, and without any interaction with you anywhere.
Look at your followers, look at the bios of folks who have retweeted you, look to those who have tweeted about you, added you to lists, have mentioned you or have promoted one of your blog posts. Read their posts. Visit their websites. Read about their services. Review their previous projects. Get to know them. Look at those who interact with you in various social networks. Look at these folks first, before you seek assistance from complete strangers.
Tip: Create a Twitter list for “Resources”, “Vendors”, “Service Providers” or “Partners”. Get more detailed if you want, by creating a specific list for each type of partner.
Some MOOCs are having a problem with online student engagement.
If MOOC operators want to see improvements in student engagement and course completion, schools need to provide college or university credit for completing a course (or at least credit for completing key assignments).
Most students have demanding schedules and they must make decisions on where to invest their time. They are not going to invest time in something that doesn’t contribute to their grades in a visible and quantifiable way.
Student engagement is not a single problem, it is an ongoing series of challenges. But course drop-out and lack of student engagement because schools don’t provide school credit for online courses — that is a problem documented by instructors who have used online courses for years.