The Gift Card User Experience And Flexing Design Muscle Where It Matters

This post is actually an email that our designer, Jeremy, sent to us. I asked him if I could post it here for a couple reasons. First, it’s a fun behind-the-scenes look at HireAHelper and the types of discussions we have about improving our service – we’re absolutely fanatic about offering the best moving quote & booking tool in the country. Second, if you’re a moving company and/or are listed on we hope sharing some of our business-building experience, frustrations and ideas will help you to offer a better service to your customers. 

Jeremy’s Email

Got some gift cards over the holidays.

Amazon: Went to the site, found the link pretty quickly, and then entered the 16 digit code.

iTunes: Opened iTunes, found the link pretty quickly and the main call to action was “Use your webcam”. Held up my card and BLAM! Was so shocked at how fast and accurate it was. Did it again just to get the screenshot:

Apple Gift Card Webcam Scan

How much more time and effort did that take? They had to build, test, and support that feature.

And let’s be honest- I’m a captive audience at this point. The money was already spent. In fact, they would make MORE money if the process for redemption was obscure or difficult (not that Amazon’s was hard- but you get my point).

Anyway, one day I would love to have enough design muscle at our company to spend it on things that bring unexpected delight to customers and service providers. Things that just make you smile and go “wow”. Like Vimeo’s log in screen:

Vimeo Log In Screen

I realize this totally goes against what I’ve been saying lately: We need to be more judicious about what features we allow.

But as we mature, I’d like to be like some of the companies people love. At those companies, customer experience champions sometimes say, “No- here we’re going to do something unexpected and over the top.” There’s sort of a swagger in doing this. It’s like the company is saying to its customers, “We’re choosing to spend our design/dev efforts in specific ways throughout your experience- not just on the marketing side of things.”

It’s like airline companies. If they put HALF the creativity and thought into their overall customer experience as they do in their marketing efforts, then people wouldn’t be so cynical about them. But instead of spending time on making a better boarding pass, they’re spending their time on skin-deep rebranding efforts. If customers wait on hold for hours at a time, can’t find information quickly, have their flights cancelled for preventable reasons, or lose their luggage… do you think they care what your logo looks like?

I’m not sure this email had a point. Let me try:

I see great customer experience and it gets my blood pumping. I wanna be awesome like that. And I think it means having a simple, reliable, amazing core product while STILL busting out with some unexpected shit that makes customers go WHOAH!