Recently, the Mojo team has been focused on user experience (UX) as we develop websites for clients. On a trip to Disney World last year, I realized that Disney really works to reduce friction points between the guests and their experience at the parks. Have you ever seen a character in the wrong park? Or trash being moved? Disney made a system of underground tunnels called the “ultidor” system just so you wouldn’t have to. Disney wants to maintain the magic of the experience. Peter Morville’s honeycomb depicts seven facets of UX: useful, usable, desirable, valuable, findable, accessible, and credible. Disney successfully manages to do each one to create the best experience.
Useful: Does it Fulfill a Need?
Disney creates childhood-like magic, both for children and adults; they want to build everyone’s “Happily Ever After,” even if only for a day. There’s a reason people want their weddings in front of Cinderella’s castle or why it’s exactly where people go after they win the Super Bowl. Disney knows their user personas and creates an experience for them that they can’t get anywhere else.
Usable: Is it Simple and Easy to Use?
Disney regularly develops technology to make the consumer’s experience as effortless as possible: the Magic Bands, FastPass+, and Disney Transport, for example. They strive to reduce what are already limited friction points, to make the user experience as enjoyable as possible. Disney is one of the best at continually developing ideas and products. In fact, that’s the central idea of one of their parks: EPCOT. Walt Disney originally imagined the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” as a center for continual technology development. While the park may not have been constructed exactly as Walt Disney first envisioned, Epcot is still largely based on this idea of continually developing technology and demonstrating ingenuity.
Desirable: Is the Design Pleasing to the Eye and to the Point?
This one is pretty obvious - if there is only one thing that Disney is good at, its appearances. Each park is perfectly manicured down to the character shaped topiaries at Epcot and the hidden Mickeys throughout. Disney creates visually pleasing cartoons and movies that bring in billions of dollars. Their attention to detail goes to the point of placing Mickey in the center of the manhole covers and creating games in the lines for rides. Everything is fun, aesthetic, and on theme.
Findable: Is it Easy to Navigate?
One of the positions Disney consistently hires for is Senior UX Researcher because it is persistently creating and recreating to make Disney a better experience. The opening day of Disney was a failure, Tomorrowland wasn’t finished, some of the rides weren’t open, and they ran out of food. But Disney didn’t get discouraged, and the park became the experience that it is today. The MagicBands, in their first prototype, were not intuitive to use. Customers were confused on how to use it. However now, the MagicBands can be used to pay, to collect the pictures taken over the course of a trip, and as a room key, making the Disney-goers trip that much more enjoyable and easy to navigate.
Accessible: Can Those with Disabilities Have the Same Experience?
Disney offers a “DAS” or Disability Access Service Card for those who with both visible and non-visible disabilities that allow guests to not have to wait in lines. They also offer a handheld device for assistive listening and are developing a guide for those with cognitive disabilities. There is a full list of disability services on Disney’s website so consumers can easily find any available accomodations. Disney works hard to make sure every guest has an excellent and special experience.
Credible: Is the Brand Trustworthy?
Disney is the leader in children’s TV and movies for a reason. They consistently create a fantasy in all of their business segments: studio entertainment; parks, experiences and consumer products; media networks; and Disney Direct. Disney works to make sure every contact point is on brand and a continuation of the experience. Now when people hear Disney, they know what to expect, and that they should expect to get it. They are excellent at converting those who aren’t fans of Disney into just that because there are so many different aspects of Disney that anyone can find an experience that will transform into a loyal customer.
Valuable: Does it Provide Benefits and Advantages?
Disney provides a wholesome experience for kids and adults alike. While it’s expensive, the value is evident as they have over 19 million guests a year. Disney gives an experience, and they work hard to make sure that no one else can give it quite like them. Their continual developments provide additional benefits to make their trips and points of contact delightful and worth whatever learning curve there is.
Disney is a big company, and they could easily settle into a status quo, but they continually evolve to ensure that the consumers get the best experience. They reduce friction and ensure their brand is recognizable at all points of contact.