In an age of over overconsumption and information overload, it is often that users are never taught how to manage all this information. Bringing payments into the picture just complicates things because now there is a tangible cost to what decisions users make.
How might we simplify the management of multiple subscription services?
The research process began with first understanding the subscription economy by way of primary research. Topics of research covered payment structures, content delivery, models of variable payment structures as well as an environment scan of the subscription economy and available services.
Following which secondary research was acquired by conducting interviews, shadowing users and auto-ethnography. These were the insights that were drawn from the research:
As new breakthroughs are made in the world of brain-computer interactions and neuroscience, the way we will interface with cyberspaces is going to change completely. Interfaces have been developed based on an aggregate of user behaviours. Everyone thinks and communicates differently but as a result we’re still required to use an aggregate-based interface archetype. However, as we better understand how our brains work, so should our devices.
At present we interface the cloud by way of "data mediums" , i.e. our daily devices, that we interact with and then communicates with the cloud to come back to us with a response. As we see devices becoming closer and more connected to us, the way we interact with the cloud will also change.
Instead of using devices to interact with the cloud, we may eventually be able to interface directly through our cognition. The resulting service will need to operate and provide responses to users proactively and with intrinsic value in order to keep up to speed.
The above diagram maps out all current services that provide users with a proactive service that utilises intrinsic data. The value opportunity here is a proactive digital assistant that provides intrinsically relevant responses to user queries.
Personality, temperament, moods, and thoughts are all factors that influence each other over time but at the core of it is the thought process. The diagram below is a representation of approach versus affect. Until technologies are capable enough of understanding human thought, one way to start unpacking such a complicated system is by starting from the outside in, by beginning with key personality traits.
There are many different techniques that are employed to determine personality traits. One such method is by using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It categorises personalities based on the following four spectrums:
Where does one get their energy?
- Introversion (I) vs Extroversion (E)
How do they take in information?
-Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N)
How do they base their decisions?
- Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
How do they organise their world?
-Judging or structure (J) vs Perceiving or flexibility (P)
Depending on the initials of your personality type, they can be further categorised under either Sentinels, Analysts, Explorers or Diplomats.
Sentinels are helpful and exceptionally pragmatic, embracing and creating order, security and stability wherever they go. Individuals in this category are generally persevering, meticulous and traditional, They succeed in logistical or administrative fields, particularly those that depend on clear processes and rules. These character types like to adhere to their plans but doesn't avoid taking on challenges – however, they can be inflexible and reluctant to accept different points of view.
Diplomats prioritize empathy and cooperation. They do really well in areas of diplomacy and counseling. They are imaginative and often taking on the responsibility of being the peacekeeper in their workplace or social circles. Diplomats are warm, empathic and influential individuals, but can struggle on making decisions based on rationality in tough situations.
These personality types are inclined to rationality and impartiality, excelling in fields of science, technology and intellectual debate. Other character traits include being independent, open-minded, strong-willed and imaginative as well as approaching situations from a utilitarian perspective. Their priorities may often lie in what works than what satisfies everybody. These traits make Analysts excellent strategic thinkers.
Explorers are utilitarian, practical, and excel in thinking on their feet. They are masters of craft and techniques, utilizing them from multiple points of view – going from dominating these skills to pursuing others. These character types are indispensable in emergencies, craft, and sales. Their qualities can also push them towards taking on risky challenges or zeroing in exclusively on sensory experiences.
First, it is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which consists of a virtual private cloud that allows for secure private storage of data as well as running cloud-based applications, typically a service offered only to enterprise customers. Although given the growth of cloud storage demand amongst users over the last few years, companies should prepare to provide enterprise level cloud services for everyday users in coming years.
And secondly, it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) which is an interface by way of an advanced virtual assistant which is modeled to respond and access information based on the user’s contextual psychographic data as well as indicators in personality. As a result, creating interactions that are synthesized through digital empathy for the user.
The following is a Value As Delivery model which maps out the value being delivered, revenue, costs, key partners and participants in the platform.
What is the potential market value of the service to a web company like Amazon?
As of 2021, Amazon reported over 146. 8 million Prime Members.
By multiplying the annual service cost into the current user base,
Amazon's potential market value for this service is valued at
To begin with, key trends were drawn out from an industry assessment with regards to the overarching theme of Augmented Life:
Companies still using traditional marketing methods are being left in the past as others invest in "direct to consumer" product experiences.
There are a variety of AR and VR technologies being developed to take over the computing, phone and tv technologies.
Successful brands are now considering how designed experiences and brand perception can influence customer opinions.
As users call for wider accessibility and user empathy, interfaces have become smoother and more efficient.
Using Augmented Life as a starting point, associated opportunities were mapped out in a brainstorming session:
Following the brainstorming session, interviews were conducted to understand what makes an experience valuable and/or memorable. Insights were mapped out based on positive or negative sentiments versus memorable or non-memorable moments gave us insight into where the opportunity lies.
As we realise the permanence of the digital age, the value of digital legacy is becoming more apparent. Addressing the building blocks of a legacy can also determine what defines a valuable moment.
Understanding Instagram's current vision model was key in developing the Augmented vision model.
The Memoir page provides the user a more personalized and in-depth understanding of the historical and emotional value connected to the assets. As a result, this provides the assets to be part of not only a physical realm but also to be part of an emotional one. The connection between the memoirs and assets, will create a more valuable experience for the user, and give them the initiative to continue and care for the legacy of benefactor.
The financial Doula is a service that is provided through a digital platform, it gives the user the freedom to take the next steps at their own pace and time. It is noted that millennials and younger generations prefer quick access’ to information therefore a digital application would meet these needs. The Doula is also an educational resource that provides a financial glossary to aid the user in furthering their understanding of the process.
The Serene space provides baby boomers a physical platform to easily exchange their legacy. It has been noted that older generations like baby boomers prefer face-to-face interaction when it comes to their finances. Therefore, Serene brings two generations together in a peaceful and welcoming environment to openly converse about the beginning or continuation of a legacy.
Insights were synthesized from interviews by developing an experience map of a habitual smoker:
Based on interviews, there were some consistent pain points among users:
Users want to know the ins and outs of their payments because it helps them organize and budget their life.
Users clearly recognize a market that is getting saturated. It is becoming a cause for concern as these are costs that accumulate.
Over subscribing has become a big issue in the subscription industry and people and losing countless dollars for something they aren't using.
People want to be able to not only share subscriptions with family, but with friends as well through shared payments. No more “pay me back” or risk one friend footing the bill.
Key themes that were of value to specific demographics :
While most users browse freely, others are more decisive and like to maintain accountability.
Subscription packages are more approachable at student, family, and shared rates.
Users have trouble juggling multiple subscriptions and often contemplate if they are worth the cost.
Single subscription is being shared widely amongst friends and family members.
Insights were further mapped to understand what the user says, thinks, does, and feels.
The following were the service features that were developed from the research:
Landing page allows users to see all their subscriptions at a glance. Along with how many others share the account or if services are being split.
Users can see who their subscriptions are being split with
Transparency on how much each user pays for the split services.
Users can see who the primary account holder is on accounts that are shared such as Family Subscription since there is only user being billed.
After prototyping, feedback provided some valuable critique:
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