Dina Chaiffetz from mobile-first agency “Prolific Interactive”

Apr 4

Dina Chaiffetz from mobile-first agency “Prolific Interactive”

In this podcast series we ask experienced Appreneurs for one success story and one fail. In this episode of the Mobile Engagement Podcast, we learn what a mobile-first Agency like – Prolific Interactive brings to the table for their clients.

Modcloth App by Prolific Interactive
Soulcycle App by Prolific Interactive
Dina Chaiffetz from Prolific talks about life in startups, thru acquisition by Angie’s List and now working at Prolific Interactive who worked with Angie’s List on their mobile strategy and Apps. Dina shares some great insights about where agencies bring a new perspective and execution ability:

  • User Testing in-store is a cool tactic. Get the user in the context of the activity the App is adding value to.
  • If your startup has a core skill that is not UI/UX on mobile, then agencies may be the best way to augment. For example if you are an IoT or Wearable company you want to focus on the product and use experts on the App design.
  • Checkout the “Zeigarnik Effect” and “Endowed Progress” as two tools in gamification and engagement of users. These are two psychological factors around unfinished tasks and the satisfaction that arises from completion.
  • App designers need to understand the general principle of how users operate psychologically in standard scenarios.

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DJ: Hello. This is David Jones, the Founder and CEO of StreetHawk and I’m here with Dina Chaiffetz of Prolific. Prolific is an agency and I think they grew up out of New York but they have an office here in San Francisco. In fact, it’s above the beautiful, beautiful Market and 6th corner, which is always entertaining down there, [laughs] always plenty of interesting people and The Warfield. So Dina, thanks for spending some time with me. Of course. Happy to be here.

DJ: I think the interesting thing about talking to an agency is you guys are working with people who actually have some pretty serious user bases and also a really sort of supported budget like gifts. I mean, there’s always constraints. But as opposed to talking to start-ups which we often do.
2. Right.

DJ: Talking to somebody like you is going to be quite interesting because it’s just a different, you know, different world there in terms of, you know, dealing with a customer, etc., etc.

Dina: Yeah. I think for the most part, we work with pretty big brands like American Express, Angie’s List, David’s Bridal, Scotts. But we have worked with a number of start-ups as well out here in San Francisco office. We worked with ModCloth. We built Le Tote’s first app as well as Udacity and Threadless.

DJ: Right.

Dina: So there’s a number of start-ups that worked—

DJ: Pretty serious start-ups, aren’t they?

Dina: Yeah. They’re doing pretty well.

DJ: Would there be B round, A round/B round there?

Dina: You know, I’m not sure what point we came into a system, but typically it’s after the A round.

DJ: Yeah [Laughs] absolutely. Yeah, that makes sense when they’re actually sort of getting more, you know, they’re doubling down in the experience and they’ve got the money to support that, yeah.

Dina: Yeah, and out of this office too, we’re doing a number of apps per connected devices. So situations where, you know the core competency of the company is the hardware that they’re developing so that they can stay focused on that, we assist them with building a native mobile app experience both in design and development.

DJ: Yeah, okay. So tell me what kind of—what are those kind of devices? Is it IoT? Is it watches? Is it what? What sort of thing?

Dina: So we’ve done Apple watches, but these are big things like for example Smart Health thermometer, different sets of trackers, whether it’s for breathing or other kind of vital signs that connect with an app.

DJ: Yup.

Dina: And give you feedback, not only from a data perspective but also kind of understanding what that information means.

DJ: Oh, so that would be, sort of, is that actually like a health app or is it something that hospitals give to their patients to take home or what?

Dina: Yeah, in these cases, the expert consumers-

DJ: Yup.

Dina: -health apps, so it could be just something that you want to be more mindful of.

DJ: Yup.
Dina: But it could be something that you had a particular condition that you want to keep an eye on. Or in the case of like thermometer, you know, that’s something that you use when, you know, you have a child in the household that’s not feeling well.

DJ: Right, right. Okay. So how does the engagement or how does Prolific’s engagement work with the customer? Let’s just take one of those as an example. Do they basically, it’s like a marketing outreach that you have and then somebody comes to you, or you’re not like having that current kickstart, you know, sort of those “three quotes” thing, or what?

Dina: Well, I mean, I found Prolific so I have hired the company myself when I was working at Angie’s List, actually. I was in charge of the consumer product experience and I was overhauling our mobile strategy and looking for a company to work with to do, overhaul our iOS and Android apps—

DJ: I think when I was talking to you, you said Angie had several apps at one stage or something like that?

Dina: Yeah, we had about—we had around six at the time, I think. But remember, we have two audiences, right? At Angie’s List, it was a consumer audience and then the service providers.

DJ: Gotcha.

Dina: We have both think of it as like B to C, B to B, iOS and Android, iPad and different experiences like that. So it adds up pretty quickly.

DJ: Yup. [Laughs]

Dina: And so, I honestly, I think I was just googling and I found an article about Prolific Interactive and looked at the site and the apps that they’ve gone and you know, just had a conversation with them and ended up working with them and you know, it was a great experience. And so, that’s why at the end of the day, I ended up joining the team.

DJ: Ended up joining them? [Laughs]

Dina: Well, you know, with a period of time in between. It was not just, you know, it’s not like they poached me or anything at Angie’s List.

DJ: Right, right. Gotcha.
Dina: You know, two years later, ended up joining the agency when I moved out to San Francisco.

DJ: Yeah, because I met you at 500 Startups where you’re working with the team and you’d be involved in other YC or 500 Startups company before as well too.

Dina: Yeah.

DJ: So you’ve done quite a number of different sort of startups and…

Dina: Yeah, I’ve done the—both ends of the spectrum, you know.

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: Like a startup from ground zero with no money and just an idea, just a dream, and then you know, the publicly-traded company things. It’s kind of a nice range I’ve been exposed to-

DJ: Yeah, that’s great.

Dina: It’s been fun. I did a lot of work with web apps, so it’s been fun to kind of dive in really and work on strategy with mobile apps as well.

DJ: Right. Okay. Alright, so if we go back to these guys with some sort of device, they’ve engaged you. And what happens there? Do you sort of like scope out a pet project first or what?

Dina: Yeah, so our primary engagement is we do full product teams. So we don’t like to divide up the service. We really want to put in a complete team, so that’s designers, developers and product managers. As well as hopefully an analyst or a strategist. In some cases, companies have a clear idea of the, you know, MVP feature-set that they want to see in the app which is great and then we just kind of scope out the details and check out their API’s and go from there. In some cases, you know, then this is like with the case of American Express. They wanted to overhaul the open forum experience which is their small business content web app. And so they came to us and didn’t necessarily have that vision for what that looks like, what the different feature set could be. So we’ll do things called “innovation teams.” We work them through a period of a few months to kind of do a lot of user researching, user testing, and iterative prototyping, as well as a lot of work with the stakeholders in the business to understand what this new experience should look like.
DJ: Right. So you’re actually even before you’re diving into the code, you’re basically storyboarding the user experience and what the actual key app comes out at some point.
Dina: Yeah. And you know, the goal there obviously is in the long run that is more efficient way to approach things to get a better sense of based on business goals, and you know, what different stakeholders are looking for based on where, you know, the technology is going, what you could take advantage of, maybe it’s too early, with virtual reality, and then really kind of the user’s relationship, current relationship with the brand and the product and what they’d like to see out of it, and just combining all those components with our experience working with a bunch of different mobile apps to see like how we can push the boundaries of the experience and create something innovative.

DJ: Right.

Dina: So in some—in most cases, we then end up building those with the company. In some cases, they just bring this in to help with kind of innovation and help them think bigger and bring in our mobile expertise and then they built it in-house. In some cases, we build it on behalf of the company.

DJ: Right, right. So what’s an example of an interesting sort of either retail or a big company thing where they’ve taken a punt on something, an interesting, new kind of experience in the app? What was something bold, because I can imagine sometimes the…

Dina: [Laughs] Yeah.

DJ: Sometimes when I joined an organization, they might be a bit conservative.

Dina: Yeah, I think Overstock, who we worked with recently, has been exploring being more bold in their experience. They have a mobile app in place and they brought us on to work with them in the last quarter of 2015 on their loyalty experience. They have a very traditional loyalty program with different levels where earn points and you get rewards based on what level you’re in. and they wanted to kind of push that further in a mobile-first way which is, you know, very—I don’t want to say non-traditional—but it’s like, you know, kudos to them for approaching it in that way.

DJ: Yeah. Right.

Dina: And by leveraging kind of games and game techniques, gamification.

DJ: Right.

Dina: So we worked with them to kind of explore what that could look like building up their current loyalty program, rethinking it and choosing a mobile-first way, but also integrating like game experiences.

DJ: Right, right.

Dina: So I think for kind of a large e-commerce company that’s been around for quite a while, like Overstock, like that’s a fairly innovative thing-

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: -way for them to approach it.

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: In that case, like we were their innovation team, and there, it’s something that they’re currently working on putting into place right now.

DJ: So is that—has that launched?

Dina: Not yet. They’re building it out right now at best.

DJ: Right, okay. So…

Dina: We’ll follow up when it is out there.

DJ: Yeah, then we got to check it with you.

Dina: Yeah.

DJ: Let’s say, you know, did that particular aspect, you know, was that a game changer or something like that, maybe we could check in on.

Dina: Yeah. We’d love to find out as well.

DJ: [Laughs] Cool.

Dina: It’s based on a lot. Like you said, a lot of what we do, we’re very user-centric, so a lot of what we do is based on heavy user research and testing. And then we also train the companies we work with on how to do that without disrupting very tight timelines or goals and stuff like that—

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: -because you get so much more of a better, more thoughtful direction when you understand like how the users react to those kinds of changes.

DJ: So what does that mean in terms of user research and testing? Does that mean putting “bums on seats” and getting them to play with the prototype or you know, what…
Dina: Yeah. I mean, it could be sort of working with Sephora right now. So it could be like once or twice a week. Our user research and user experience designers will go into Sephora stores and, you know, obviously with approval and the help of Sephora, they’re able to speak to customers, show them, you know, wireframe, show them clickable prototypes, run all aspects of copy and creative assets by them, and do it in a really kind of fluid, sort of a way. So it’s not like we built up most of the experience and then we’re going in and getting feedback on it, right?
DJ: Right, right.
Dina: It’s like throughout different points, so they help guide us through those key decisions that we’re making.

DJ: Right.

Dina: In terms of the flow of the experience or the general kind of imagery and assets that are being used.

DJ: So in that Sephora case, is it like the consumer would be using the app inside the store or is it a store staff member using an app to liaise with the visitor?

Dina: It’s actually both. So we’re partnering with their innovation team, so they have a mobile team, we’re working with the innovation team. And they’ve been putting out, I think they’re on their second or third of these kind of focused game-like educational tutorials that go within their app.

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: And so it’s something that the consumer can use directly but it’s actually they found great success with their employees they call “cast members,” using those games in the app to interact and explain things.

DJ: Right.

Dina: To the customer in the store.

DJ: Right, right.

Dina: So it actually has been worked, for them, it’s worked out well both ways.

DJ: That’s really cool. So the customers are already embedded in the normal Sephora experience.

Dina: Yes.

DJ: And now, what they’re sort of doing is taking it the next level, so whereas if you try to go and do that in a room somewhere…

Dina: Yes.

DJ: Imagine that you’re in a store, you know, that just wouldn’t work as well. So that’s really cool with apps.

Dina: Actually. So yes, so that’s why all—pretty honestly, all but a majority of the testing that we’re doing in research in stores. If we start talking very, very early stages with my, you know, hop on the phones to get like on broader selection of people from all of the country.

DJ: Yeah, big in numbers.

Dina: Yes, yup.

DJ: More data.

Dina: Yup, more to study.

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: [Laughs]

DJ: Cool, cool.

Dina: Yeah.

DJ: Alright. So what we usually like to try and do is get one win and one fail.

Dina: Yes.

DJ: In terms of something along your journey. It doesn’t have to be from Prolific, would be interesting, but if there’s something along the way with you, just to hear about that. So…

Dina: Sure.

DJ: Do you want to tell me something you’ve experienced where you had a real kind of win on the mobile, sort of thing?

Dina: Sure. So you know, I’ve actually first felt like an “aha!” moment, it’s one that like took me a lot of years to get to. So we’ll start way back when this first kind of came up.

DJ: [Laughs]

Dina: You know, as I mentioned, I’ve been in 500 Startups before with a startup called BrightNest. And it was—this was in 2011 where I joined the company and their goal was to revolutionize the home maintenance industry. So, you know, the upside is that…

DJ: So it’s a tradesman coming to the house, is that sort of thing?

Dina: Yup, so—yeah, service provider, like it could be somebody who does lawn and garden. It could be H pack, it could be electrical.

DJ: Gotcha.

Dina: Or just a contractor. So the theory is like homeowner is a huge, extremely lucrative market, the challenge is very fragmented. And so we were at the mind that we could create this customized experience, was super easy to use, you know, user online, like marketing background skills to get to people, we’d have a shot at capturing this market. So something that should have been a big—this surprise, what we discovered pretty quickly is that people don’t care about home maintenance. It’s just like, it’s the driest topic ever and they just don’t care.

DJ: [Laughs] Right.

Dina: So, you know, again, it wasn’t like, we kinda knew that, but we’re thinking like, “Okay, like this is people’s most valuable asset, we make something super easy to use and engaging and customized to them, then they’ll totally like be into it,” that’s not the case.

DJ: [Laughs] Right.

Dina: Right? Because that’s not how human beings…

DJ: Yeah, changing happens. It’s tough, right?

Dina: Exactly. So you know, I think one of the go-to things when you’re looking to increase engagement or change, have you deal with something that’s kind of dry is games, right? Games, the gamification. So that’s something that at the time, we explored what we can do, right? So you think, okay, badges, points, progress bars. I remember I was like sketching out stuff for bringing out how it could work, where it could be implemented, and we ended up integrating some of those components in the light sort of a way. And I wouldn’t say it like we didn’t have any major wins there, because I think at the time, like at least I’ll speak for myself, like I didn’t know what I was doing. Like, you see kind of—see you how it’s done elsewhere. You see badges and points and leader boards and progress bars and stuff like that. And like, “Okay, I need to move those features or components over and it will work, right?”

DJ: Were you literally saying looking at Zynga games, and let’s bring them in the real world, or…

Dina: Yeah, I think it wasn’t even straight games. It was other people who had incorporated gamification. And they’re like, “Okay, got it. Badges.” Like, you know, like it seems something pretty straightforward.

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: And again, this is kind of worked with us than in naïve phases definitely, you know, learnings. [Laughs]

DJ: Probably at the time Foursquare was probably still sort of badges were still probably thought to be that was in the case of the Internet of Things?

Dina: Yeah, that’s a great example, right?

DJ: Yeah.

Dina: So then, I think, you know, kind of during the BrightNest experience and a little bit afterwards, I came across Dan Ariely, if you know him, he’s a Behavioral Economist.

Dina: He’s a Behavioral Economist, I think a Professor at Duke, but he was speaking at a conference. He’s had some TED Talks and he wrote a book called “Predictably Rational.” And he talks a lot about why people do things and what influences and motivates their decisional self, very scientifically based like on, you know, experiments that he runs and other people run. And following that, I just got really interested in consumer psychology. And the underlying reasons why things gaming, game elements work. And that kind of opened up my eyes to how to use these things properly in apps, right?

DJ: Right, yeah.

Dina: Once you understand, really, the underlying principles of how people think. And again, this is how you and I think, but being able to stand back and kind of say, “This is the general principle of how people operate in this type of scenario. And therefore, here is the experience I’m going to try and create or drive in my app,” right? So just, you know, a few quick examples. There’s something called “the endowed progress effect.”

DJ: The what?

Dina: “Endowed progress.”

DJ: “Endowed?” Okay.

Dina: Yes, “endowed progress effect.” So that’s where people who feel that they’ve made progress towards a goal are more committed towards achieving that goal.

DJ: Right. Yup.

Dina: Right? So it’s something that applies well to a progress bar, if you’re trying to get something, you complete a profile, or complete some compliant to the experience.

DJ: Experience step three and four, steps all the way through.
Dina: Right. So how can you easily kind of push them along so they’ve gotten past step one or two, right? There’s something similar I just learned about yesterday from—I went to a conference called “The Habit Summit,” it’s called, I believe “Zeigarnik Effect.” I might be butchering that, but the Russian woman discovered this—last name was Zeigarnik—but it’s a tendency to experience like intrusive thoughts about an objective that was once perceived but left incomplete. So you’ve gotten something started, but you don’t finish it. So it’s just kind of hanging out there weighing on your mind, right?

DJ: Yup.
Dina: So you’ll know these things because you’ve experienced them as a human being, but knowing that there’s like these principles about how people operate that they’re more likely to do something if you help them towards their goal, if you just make it easy to push them along. And then remind that it’s still hanging out there waiting to be finished.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: Right? So it’s that kind of understanding, that underlying like reason for progress bars and the way people think and operate that helps you kind of leverage them better.
DJ: So that effect could be—you could help them along in the mobile context by push e-mail, retargeting on Facebook or something like that? Those are the sorts of things—
Dina: Yeah, in terms of reminding somebody that they have—so it’s a combination of onboarding experience initially, so maybe during the onboarding experience, you kind of help them along towards a certain goal like completing their profile or whatever that initial action is that you want.
DJ: Right.
Dina: Right? And then, if they don’t complete in their first experience or if that’s not the intention, then you could use different engagement tactics to bring them back to complete it, you know, kind of building on that Zeigarnik effect thing.
DJ: Did they actually talk about sort of “guilt-ing” the person or is the guilt already embedded in the person that it’s just a gentle reminder.
Dina: I don’t think you need any additional guilt honestly.
DJ: Right.
Dina: It’s just human nature to be like, “Ah, this thing out there that I started.”
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: You know, it’s one of those like you started a project, like, you know, building a desk or something, but it hasn’t been finished.
DJ: Yes.
Dina: It’s just out, so especially if it’s out there in front of your face.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: It’s just saying, “Finish me.”
DJ: There’s a lack of order in my life that made this, yeah.
Dina: Yeah. So I think this specific study that was done around this is just kind of a great real life example is that if you’re going to, let’s say if you got a punch card at a car wash, like give somebody two or three punches out of ten to start, so that feeling of not just, “plus here’s the one, or here’s a punch card for next time,” but “I’ve moved you further along towards your goal, like you are almost there,” right?
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: So something like that, so…
DJ: Yeah, that’s nice.
Dina: Yeah, so there’s a bunch of stuff out there like that if you kind of, find yourself interested or curious about behavioral economics and consumer psychology. It is really fascinating just kind of getting that sense of both how you think and operate, but then, how that could impact the way you present an experience to the user. So this brings us to current day of working, you know, at Prolific. We work with a bunch of different companies to build their mobile apps. And we do get asked fairly often to explore using games or game elements and experience because it is like a popular things, and it is a fact if you do it right. So this example specifically is for the Sephora game that we recently created. It’s more of an educational tutorial with game components. And as for its new line of products called “Color Correction,” so I don’t know that you’ll necessarily be using these, but—[Laughs]
DJ: Do tell. [Laughs]
Dina: But perhaps, if you wake up in the morning, for example, and you’ve got dark circles under your eyes…
DJ: I have been, yeah. A cool idea, yes.
Dina: If you get like dullness in your face, like kind of you look ashy or got redness on your face, if you’ve got acne, something like that, use products…
DJ: “tint,” yeah? [0:20:23.1]
Dina: Yeah, okay. Maybe you would be interested in this. This—sorry, this product actually helps you conceal this. And there—
DJ: Sorry, it’s a product, a makeup product that I buy?
Dina: It goes under your foundation.
DJ: Okay.
Dina: So it’s like a type of concealer, okay?
DJ: Right.
Dina: So, you would put this on first and then put your foundation over that. And it’s something that we wanted a good educational experience to explain because it’s counterintuitive because you’re actually putting green and purple and yellow makeup on your face in order to cancel out these other things.
DJ: Right.
Dina: And so it’s not—it’s kind of scary and a little intuitive.
DJ: Right.
Dina: So we created this experience where the user goes in and it’s all using illustrated models. So we put, like there is illustration used in the experience. So first, they pick their skin type because that impacts what color you want to select.
DJ: So this is an app or is it a…
Dina: It is. It’s kind of an educational tutorial game within the app.
DJ: Right.
Dina: It’s within the main app support experience.
DJ: Oh, okay. So you’ve got this existing app that’s out there at the moment.
Dina: Yes. Yup.
DJ: And then this has been a new sort of…
Dina: This is a component…
DJ: …chapter? Yeah, we’ll put it that. Yeah.
Dina: Yup. So once the user picks their skin type and they pick what problem they want to address, if, for example, dark circles on your eyes, then they get the chance to guess from, I believe it’s eight colors. What they would use to cancel out their dark circles.
DJ: Right.
Dina: So this is a moment in the experience where we leverage some light, kind of, gamifications and like psychology principles. So if the user gets it wrong, we could have just given them the answer, like, “Sorry, that’s not the right answer. Here’s the right answer and why.” That there was a few studies I believe done at Tufts about how people learn and what is the best way for them to learn, get engaged in learning. And they gave subject, these different sentences where they’re supposed to figure out kind of what was going on in this scenario of the first sentence being very straightforward and just pretty much told you what’s going on. The second one left a little bit of information out, so you have to kind of create a connection between what was going on. And the third one was kind of the obscure, that if you though really hard about it, you could probably figure out what was going on-
DJ: Right.
Dina: -like it wasn’t clear. So as you probably could guess, the second group that wasn’t told the answer but was given a little bit of a missing, you know, kind of component to be able to draw like those lines between A and B, did the best, like they have the most brain activity, they spot the longest kind of engaging with it and they were more likely to remember that information. So what we did is rather than telling somebody, “No. Sorry, that’s not the right color. Here’s the answer,” is we give them three guesses. They have three lives, they have—there are little hearts, right? You have three guesses. If you get the first guess wrong rather than just saying, “Sorry, wrong. Guess again,” we give them a little hint to help educate them and say, “Hey, okay. So if you got blue or purple under your eyes, what’s the opposite color on the color wheel?” and show them a color wheel to help cancel it out because that’s how color correction works, right?
DJ: Right.
Dina: And then, I they get that wrong again, we give them one more kind of hint or guess. So using those techniques of having multiple guesses and also giving them hints so that they can come to their own conclusion of why color correcting products work.
DJ: Cool.
Dina: And then after that, once you’ve kind of gotten to the answer, there’s a demo so they can see like exactly how it works. So it’s kind of a very light, subtle thing. But again, in that moment, we have the option to be like, “Oh, not. Sorry, you guessed wrong. Here’s the answer.”
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: But instead, kind of engaging them and finding the answer on their own.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: But now, again, making it frustrating or they have to guess 10 times or, you know, making it so obscure that they can’t figure it out by themselves.
DJ: I think what probably—probably was happening here too is the more you’re keeping them entertained, you’re actually increasing the session time inside the app as well too which is really an art. You’re basically embedding more in the day of that person.
Dina: Right.
DJ: And because it’s kind of like a daily activity, it may actually get caught a few opens during the week or at least until they’ve kind of got that technique down, something like that.
Dina: Yeah, so the end there, they can go back and try other skin tones and they can try other color concerns. But yeah, I think this is one of those scenarios like I’m a big believer that friction isn’t always a bad thing in user experience and design. So in this case, rather than just telling them the right answer, letting them get through the experience and get to where we want them to be which is setting up a makeover, buying the product, selling them that and having them kind of figure it out for themselves and discover it a little bit.
DJ: Right.
Dina: Like, introducing just that little bit of friction in education actually works quite well. And I’ve seen/heard that done in other ways.
DJ: Right. What was the goal in this? Was the goal ultimately—sorry—from Sephora’s perspective, is the goal ultimately to drive more purchase of that particular product or…
Dina: At the end of the day, yes. And I think given this case, purchase isn’t going to happen without education.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: Right? Because if somebody says to you, “Here is a product that’s purple or yellow or green. You put on your face and it’s going to cover up your, you know, skin issues,” when typically women are used to putting on like some shade of beige or brown, you know, foundation on their skin or concealer to cover up what’s going on, right?
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: So it’s a newer thing. So, you know, I don’t think people would really be motivated to pursue on this unless they get why it works so well.
DJ: Yeah. And so Sephora is actually delivering that kind of educational value to them. And so it’s not just about sort of product but its relationship that’s you’re helping me with my life in that sense.
Dina: Yeah, and they did it in a very comprehensive way. They did videos, video tutorials as well. They had in-store makeovers where you can come and check it out and see for yourself. So this is just one component of the experience where you could learn via the app or the cast members could use it in store and explain like, why this works.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: It’s like, the color wheel at its finest.
DJ: Yeah. So has there been any kind of tangible measurement of the results of that particular thing?
Dina: There has. It’s only been out a few weeks, but they’ve had a lot of sessions, I think, you know, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say, so…
DJ: Yeah, sure.
Dina: But a lot of sessions are very happy with the outcome of the experience, so…
DJ: Right, okay.
Dina: Yeah.
DJ: So that’s quite interesting too that they had a number of different things. They have videos. They have the gamification in the app and then they had installed types of stuff as well, or I’m going to have the in-store stuff anyway. I think this must be an interesting thing with the retailer. You’ve got this kind of “harmony tell” [0:26:56.1] strategy-
Dina: Oh, yeah.
DJ: -of which, you know, the mobile was just kind of like one instrument in the orchestra, so to speak.
Dina: It is. And yeah, I think they do a really, really nice job with new channel efforts and really promoting. You know, there can be different things that they promote at any given point in time: new products or new techniques. I think they do a great job of, you know, using all their different channels and lots of different formats within that channel.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: -to share the news to teach you—it’s a very educational-based retailer, alright? They’re very much about that, so…
DJ: Cool, cool. Alright, very good. That’s a great story.
Dina: Yeah.
DJ: So, now, dah-dah-dah-dah, you know, what’s—have you got me a fail—got a fail for us? I always say “for me,” [Laughs] I was interested but hopefully all the listeners are too.
Dina: I don’t think it’s a significant fail. I think it’s just kind of sometimes you do things and the results don’t change significantly.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: So, it’s not necessarily…
DJ: This is going to be huge. [Laughs]
Dina: …your best use of time. But you don’t know that until you try. So there’s an example from kind of I work on the strategy team so it’s my partners on the strategy team. But one of our ongoing clients is David’s Bridal and we have been doing app store optimization for them, so checking keywords, making adjustments to the language. One thing we wanted to figure out is with what frequency should you be doing this? Is this something you should be doing weekly, monthly, once a year, just the one-time when you first kind of launched your app, or do a major update, like how often should you be kind of adjusting your app store language or keywords or images in order to optimize that experience in your downloads. So they were doing it pretty frequently, I believe one or more multiple times a month, more than like once or twice a month. They were kind of checking in and making some tweaks and seeing what the results were. And at the end of the day, my understanding wasn’t a significant result, wasn’t the kind of result where you’re like this is kind of worth the effort of continually adjusting these components-
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: -and that the recommendation is checking it, unless there’s a significant change in the experience, of course.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: -in the feature set or the design once a quarter is a good amount for them.
DJ: Right.
Dina: I mean, and this is like, this is a retail, like e-commerce kind of company, so you know, it depends, right? You want to check in whatever industry you’re in. But it’s logical to meet that once a quarter is a good amount as far as checking your app store for optimization options.
DJ: So how did it get to be being done regular in the first place? Was it something I read somewhere and I thought, you know, the prevailing wisdom is that you should change your keywords a lot and then, you know, maybe even some vendors in that. And so, you know, you went in there and you did that and you—and took the measurement actually, says “No, that’s crap.”
Dina: Right.
DJ: And how did it all play up?
Dina: I mean, that I do now, I was there when I initially started this little experiment. But I think a lot of times we just, you know, we put in more effort than, you know, is defined by the project or the scope of the projects, so we’ll just kind of run experiments or try things or throw in something actually like, “Oh, let’s see if we can really help with your ranking, with your installs and stuff like that,” by doing app store optimization more frequently.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: So we’ll just kind of bring our own little experiments like, you know, I wonder if this would happen impact or whether if this works obviously with their approval. But it just kind of like, here, we want to determine if this is something that’s effective, because if so, we can recommend it and do it for all our other clients.
DJ: Yeah.
Dina: So it’s just something they decided to kind of dig into because we have like on the team-
DJ: Got it.
Dina: You know, few app store experts, and that’s what they kind of wanted to explore. And I can, you know, in that kind of case, so it’s like well, you know, not necessarily worth the effort, but like once a quarter is about a good… cadence.
DJ: Alright, okay. Well, that’s—yeah, that’s a good tip on that side of it because, you know, if you can get away with not doing another job in the day, [laughs]
Dina: Exactly.
DJ: We’re all too busy already, right?
Dina: It’s actually, you know, it’s a focus on reengagements or other—the many other things you’ve doing.
DJ: Yeah, yeah.
Dina: -in your app.
DJ: Because there is no shortage of jobs to them, right?
Dina: Right? Absolutely.
DJ: Alright. That’s great. It was really terrific to hear it from an agency perspective. It was great to hear your journey as well too.
Dina: Yeah. Thank you.
DJ: So Dina, thank you very much.
Dina: Of course.
DJ: And just, can you just say what the domain is for Prolific as well too just in case people are interested?
Dina: www.prolificinteractive.com.
DJ: www.prolificinteractive.com. Okay.
Dina: Yes.
DJ: And so that’s the agency itself?
Dina: Yeah, and Twitter is @weareprolific.
DJ: @weareprolific. [Laughs]
Dina: Yeah, that’s right.
DJ: Okay. Thank you so much.
Dina: Of course.
DJ: Ciao for now.
Dina: Bye.

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