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It’s Time to “Climb Out” and Rethink the User Experience!

by Christine B. Whittemore
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Creating an online conversation about the user experience of bathrooms to radically improve it.

The Bathroom Blogfest, now in its sixth year, urges you to “climb out” of the murky sewer pot of mixed economic signals, unfocused political agendas, and undifferentiated conventional experiences that surround us globally. Only by climbing out can we put into action fresh thinking and innovative solutions that combine user-focused design sensibilities with intuitive processes that can transform a business’ overall experience.

The Bathroom Blogfest, now in its sixth year, urges you to “climb out” of the murky sewer pot of mixed economic signals, unfocused political agendas, and undifferentiated conventional experiences that surround us globally. Only by climbing out can we put into action fresh thinking and innovative solutions that combine user-focused design sensibilities with intuitive processes that can transform a business’ overall experience.

Bathroom Blogfest takes place the last week in October. During that time, bloggers relate the yearly theme to bathrooms from the perspective of their blog’s area of focus. Posts encompass user experience perspectives ranging from sociology, marketing, research, psychology, retail and the environment, to bathroom design and materials. Those participating—over 30 bloggers focused on user, reader, customer, patient, and other human experiences—invite you to consider what “climbing out” means for your organization, products, services, customers, and experiences. What aspects of current scenarios don’t work? How can they be re-imagined? By creating online conversation about the user experience and bathrooms, we can improve it. Radically!

You may be wondering: what’s the fascination with bathrooms? Well, that’s easy. Although bathrooms have come a long way, they remain symbolic of overlooked or unmentioned spaces that are ignored, forgotten, and not cared for despite being universally necessary.

In many spaces—offices, retail spaces, movie theaters, etc.—the overall experience breaks down at the bathroom. Innovative thinking gets checked before even reaching the stall door. What a shame, especially when creativity in these dismal spaces can be so transformative!

Customers and users demand more. They have come to expect intuitive, user-focused design solutions and collaborative problem-solving facilitated through digital interactions. They express genuine overall curiosity about how to do more and better with less. Imagine, then, the opportunities for breakthrough thinking about bathrooms!

From Bill Gates reinventing the toilet to turning social taboos into innovative products, don’t you find the possibilities intriguing? When you read from UX Magazine Think Outside The Box, But Don’t Forget the Box Exists, doesn’t “climbing out” come to mind?

Will you join in on Bathroom Blogfest 2011 and create discussion around bathrooms and similar spaces? Will you share your reactions to “climbing out?” Will you envision with us how climbing out can transform and delight? We welcome your participation.

Here’s how to take part in Bathroom Blogfest 2011:

Thank you for joining in and climbing out with us!

 

post authorChristine B. Whittemore

Christine B. Whittemore,

Christine B. Whittemore is Chief Simplifier of Simple Marketing Now LLC, a marketing communications consultancy that helps organizations better connect with customers through social media and content marketing.

Formerly Director of In-Store Innovation for Solutia’s Wear-Dated carpet fiber, Christine has been active in the social media space since June 2006 when she launched her marketing blog, Flooring The Consumer, about the customer retail experience, marketing to women and social media marketing. It is ranked in the AdAge Marketing Power 150 Blogs and listed on AllTop.

She also writes the Simple Marketing Now Blog, a Junta42 Top 42 Content Marketing Blog and an eCairn Top 150 Social Media Marketing Blog, about marketing with social media and content.

Since 2006, Whittemore has embraced the yearly Bathroom Blogfest, when bloggers from around the globe come together to write about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience. As chief organization & inspiration officer for the event, she ensures that the event encompasses perspectives ranging from sociology, marketing, research, psychology, environmental, customer experience, and user experience design.

Whittemore is a columnist for Floor Covering Weekly where she writes about the customer retail experience. She contributes to MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute and is a frequent speaker on the topic of customer experience and marketing with social media.

Christine serves on the Columbia Business School’s Alumni Club of New York Board of Directors and is a member of the Surfaces Education Advisory Council. She earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College and her MBA from Columbia University.

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