From the Blog

It has taken me a couple of days to come down from the epic nerdgasm I experienced this past weekend, after using the new Virgin America website. Now that I’ve calmed down a little, and had a chance to organize my thoughts, the first thing I would like to say is: Bravo Sir Richard Branson. Bravo. You just keep on giving me reasons to admire you.

Image of website

So, why am I talking about this in the context of Customer Experience, as opposed to a mere website design? I think anyone who has flown Virgin and then uses the website will quickly understand the aesthetics. The virtually seamless cohesion between the experience of flying with Virgin America and booking tickets with this new website is nothing short of spectacular. Furthermore, by going completely responsive and rethinking the ticket purchasing and check-in process so it is optimized for interaction on any device, this vaults them beyond the competition -and makes our lives as travelers easier, and a little more fun, just like flying with them.

But it’s more than just the enigmatic Purplink (Purple + Pink) look and feel and fun and approachable editorial voice. Just one look at this vine demonstrating the new boarding pass and you will immediately realize somebody has genuinely thought about the needs of their customers (travelers) and then put those needs at the center of every decision they made with this evolution. A lot of organizations are talking about Customer Experience. Few of them are doing it. Even fewer are doing it this well.

And there’s a reason for that. Customer Experience is hard…And it requires sponsorship at the highest levels of an organization to get it right. The design of this experience was not lead by an IT project manager or a marketing director. It was lead by someone with the drive, vision, and, most importantly, the ability to reach across typical organizational silos and rally a cross-functional team around an elegant, simple objective: Reduce friction for our customers when they interact with us most frequently. Make their lives easy when they are on the go.

To that end, a hearty congratulations to Virgin’s CMO Luanne Calvert and the agency she selected for this project: Work & Co, for this stunningly beautiful extension of the Virgin America website. It’s clear these guys get it.

Posted by Jake DiMare at 3:55 pm
The Backside of ISITE Design's building in Portland

The Backside of ISITE Design's building in Portland

I’ve been in Portland, Oregon all week courtesy of my employer, ISITE Design. I feel compelled to share, I love this town so far. Although I have not wandered very far from my hotel and office in Old Town, because of time constraints, I am picking up a vibe that reminds me of the best of what San Francisco has to offer…just much more relaxed.

The Old Town neighborhood is an eclectic blend of shopping, bars, restaurants, offices and coffee shops on the west side of the river. I’ve visited the famous Powell Bookstore, Little Bird Bistro and had lunch at ‘food carts’. In Portland there is a large number of trailer based restaurants which group into mobile food courts in empty lots around the city. Really tasty & affordable food.

I’ve snapped a few pictures but this is more of a business trip than a sight seeing tour. The image to the right is the back of our office building out here. I find it awesome because it has a real painted mural instead of some cheap sign.

The weather has been fantastic for the most part until today when it started to rain. But, I am grateful to see some standard Portland weather. When I have more time I need to learn more about this city. Why is it here? When did it begin?