Skinny Mobile and DNA relaunch website targetting mindsets

Last year, Skinny Mobile’s selfie-billboards and teen stock imagery were kicked to the curb, when the company rebranded itself to appeal to a wider (and more lucrative) audience than 16-25 year olds.

A year in the making, Skinny has now also reskinned its website – and, quite different from a recent TVC, the new site has a slick simple design and user experience journey. It also has the cool new feature where customers can link up to nine Skinny accounts and manage them from their dashboard – for example, a parent can manage all their kids’ accounts and credit.

A huge reason for the redesign was so users could do everything “simpler, smarter and faster from any device,” says Skinny general manager Ross Parker. “We know our customers are on-the-go and have delivered a service that helps support this lifestyle.”

The user experience journey was the work of full service digital agency DNA, with the technical muscle provided by Silverstripe.

DNA Design director Stephen Maskell says when he designs a UX journey, he starts with the customer, and creates several personas to design for. “We don’t go for a demographic – instead, we go for mind-sets of customers,” he says. These could include people that approach a plan and mobile device for texting only, or mothers wanting to manage multiple devices for children.

The team then thinks about how these mind-sets function, to deliver on those needs – rather than delivering on a demographic, such as a youth segment or a value segment.

“Everything we need to provide, like setting up a phone, activating a sim card, or topping up, we map it out as a customer journey. We strip it right back, making the experience as simple and as quick as possible – rather than confuse them with plan options which is what people generally face.”

DNA’s methodology in a nutshell is: understanding a customer’s needs, mapping out journeys and developing the right one, working with clients to optimise that journey, and understanding the infrastructure behind the scenes.

“It’s different to what we all did in the past – ‘here’s the info from the client, we’ll make it look nice, and maybe redo the information architecture’. So now we help bridge the gap between the customer and businesses.”

DNA’s other projects include the government sector, launching the Destination Wellington site, updating the All Blacks websites, the electricity authority, and “lots of complex organisations”.

“But telcos in particular can be complex for customers to understand,” says Maskell.

He says the Skinny project was unique as the mobile company is “quite small in terms of numbers of people, but quite a large business in the customer space, with many opportunities”.

“So we got to work with pretty much everyone in the business, from sales to customer service to product development. It was good to have everyone involved in the project with no divisions – it can be quite hard to communicate with staff in telcos as the products and technology can be quite complex and have separate divisions, but with Skinny everyone was in the room.”

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