“I knew it was the right one for me”… “I can’t stand when it removes all items from my cart every time I go back”. This is not your regular love story. Love and Breakup letters are a fascinating activity that helps you explore the relationship of an object or service with their users, through personification.
When do we use this technique?
This is a powerful activity to engage with users at a more emotional level. It is a fun exchange to collect qualitative user research data. These letters are also a more efficient alternative to asking about likes and dislikes in lengthy surveys. When you humanize the experience or product, users will reveal insights they would not think of otherwise. Depending on your audience and your goals, you can play this as a group activity, or as individual assignments.
How does it work?
Let’s say you want to know how your customers feel about the current checkout process, this new Special Offers page you recently added to your site, or just your overall service/product. For the love letter you want to use existing customers, they remain loyal for a reason. The breakup letter can also be assigned to existing customers, but you certainly want to reach out to former and potential clientele in order to understand why they decided to leave you, or never engaged with you in the first place.
Once you have a pool of participants, you will provide instructions on how to do the exercise. You want the emotions to run freely, and don’t want them to be restricted to a script. However, it is recommended to provide some talking points to guide their narrative. For example, “describe a moment when (business) made you want to quit them”, “write about how (business) has impacted your life for the better”, “explain how you may have tried to salvage the relationship”, or “tell me how you feel after leaving (business).
As with any user research, love and breakup letters have disadvantages. The exercise might not throw good results if the participants are not creative and lack imagination. The writing can also be altered by the gender of the participants, the surroundings, and even by their emotional state at the time.
How can qualitative
complement quantitative data?
At first sight, this storytelling might not sound relevant to data-driven companies. But, take a breakup letter with comments on how difficult it is to update a service on the website. What you might see in analytics is the lack of interaction with a certain CTA button, or the increase in some bounce metric, but you won’t necessarily understand why.
Listen to your customers and they will surprise you with honest feedback. Act on that feedback and your business will have a better chance of success.
- On 4th June 2020