Our last post explored how overusing or poorly deploying tools can limit options and complicates customization. This same concept can be expanded into, what I call, Frankensteining your digital marketing components. Piecing together too many disparate elements is a common cause of technical problems and bad user experiences.
Frankensteining happens when you introduce new elements onto a digital marketing channel and there is either a technical breakdown or unintended bad user experience. Plugins and APIs are the chief culprits when a site goes from well-developed to monstrosity.
Let’s again use a website as an example. Frankensteined websites are not that uncommon but are often referred to as “cluttered”. I was recently on a site trying to read an article and I was hit with three calls-to-action as soon as I landed on the page. The first was a pop up box that ghosted out the background. As I closed that, I saw a footer bar advertising another offer. After I scrolled down the page, a pop up appeared from the lower right corner asking if I’d like to start a chat with the sales team.
Any one of these would have been a perfectly acceptable way of introducing a call-to-action. But having all three pile on me right away was downright annoying. If they had squeezed something into the header the offers literally would have come at me from all angles. It was annoying enough that I dug through the code a bit to see how the page was executing.
It turned out that all three offers were from separate plugins for the site. I’m certain the admin for the site did not intend for me to have this user experience but frankensteining the components together resulted in this unintended consequence.
It’s not difficult to fall prey to Frankensteined digital marketing. In the above example, the chat window appeared on every page so I’m certain it was an API driving that component sitewide. The footer bar appeared on every blog post and is likely an API defined for content pages only. The pop up window looked to be what the company was featuring at that time and was likely added as the call to action for that page via a plugin.
Frankensteining happens in all marketing channels, not just websites. Apps and plugins can change a simple social media page into a cluttered nightmare of links and automated “features”. Even email can get cobbled together with external components that often cause technical incompatibilities.
Be diligent in how you are piecing components together. If you find that you are cobbling together a lot of components to achieve new objectives, it might be time to redesign how you are delivering your digital marketing. Often times the redesign will provide a fresh start that results in a cleaner and simpler solution. Piecing too many components together runs the risk of creating a monstrous problem in technical glitches and bad user experiences.
Image Courtesy of dullhunk | flicker.com