I recently traveled from Denmark to Norway. Here are three great examples of desire paths, service design and branding that I saw while doing the traveling part of the trip.
- DSB is the biggest Danish railway provider. They have a very easy to use phone app that let’s you purchase tickets, use your phone as your ticket, plan travel routes, mark a favorite station and more. Great service stuff. But the real gem of this app is the branding it provides through the interactions. For example, the loading icon is a little train zooming around a circular train track. This seems trivial to most but the summation of these trivial things create the user experience that gives the user an impression of the brand. Whether consciously or not, the brand seems a bit more friendly and playful. Additionally, this loading icon takes something annoying –like a loading icon– and makes it fun. I found myself picking random routes just to watch the train zoom around.
- The Oslo airport has a train called Flytoget which takes you from the airport to the inner part of the city. What’s the most annoying part about airport trains? A plain load of people get off and need to buy a ticket. The solution? Let’s use your credit card as the ticket. No line; just swipe your credit card as you walk through the gate. It’s so easy that I just had to stare at the system in awe for a minute (which I had extra of by not standing in line). But in that awe, I forgot to take a photo. I wish everything were that easy.
- The tap water in Norway is drinkable high quality water and bottled water is expensive. This leads many people to refill their water bottles in the bathroom faucet. But bathroom faucets weren’t designed for this. Here we have an example of a desire path. So what does the Bergen Airport do? They make it easier for you to refill your bottle in the bathroom by adding a special water bottle faucet next to the sink. So nice!
All three of these are great service/experience/interaction design examples that contribute to building a positive brand through user experience. Undoubtedly, the information that inspired these designs were found through desire paths and user experience research.