Magazine Article

Capturing Their Eyes

Why it’s so crucial to understand how brains work.

Daniel Bruneau

Adventist Review Ministries [ARMies] strives to create varied media content that deeply resonates with the needs of our readers, listeners, and viewers. Our approach relies on a teamwide, data-driven mindset where what we create, including what we develop in our media innovation studio, is user-tested from its earliest ideation stage, to ensure an engaging end-user experience when it is released.

We call the process User Experience Design, and it begins with understanding the end users’ needs; understanding their thinking patterns and desires, and designing meaningful, engaging, and visually exciting media products, as well as highly usable platforms to serve up that content—all based on those core end-user needs.

Leading the team’s research, experience, and creative design functions means driving the behavioral research to understand the types of media products and platforms that will create the most engagement. That done, we creatively work to design and produce the products we now know will resonate with you, our audience!

For instance, we recently launched a brand-new ARMies website. Its design focuses on ensuring that end users can easily find and search for con- tent and be able to take key actions such as shar- ing or subscribing. Before we began designing the website, behavioral research helped us establish the key goals and thinking patterns of the end users. Next, we tested and retested the design with real users. Only after that research did we develop and release the site.

A well-designed, thoughtful interaction experi- ence is key to ensuring that people engage with the spiritually nourishing media we aim to create, and subsequently share it with others. This is what motivates me. Coming from a deep corporate back- ground, having built and led Experience Design and Innovation organizations for multiple industry verticals, I have long desired and looked for ave- nues to contribute to the work of our church.

It is with joy that I have reviewed the team’s activities over the past four years. Even with challenges, we have always strived to apply the core principles of Experience Design and Innovation methodology to our content and product development. It’s because, ultimately, we want to enable end users to stop, read, view, listen, and share. A person’s decision to go or stay, to pause and view, to listen, to read, or to leave a piece of content online can be measured in seconds.* We aim to create and design interaction expe- riences that will help people pause long enough to engage with our content.

The field of Experience Design is hugely important to our evangelism efforts as a church. We work hard as a team to ensure that believers and nonbelievers alike can be attracted and fall in love with the Bible story and the beauty of our unique Adventist mes- sage. Whether it’s a video from our on-de- mand video platform that drives someone to an article on end-time events, or, perhaps, something health-related, our goal is to tell and help people experience the beauty of Bible truth through a multimedia ecosystem; a story that we ultimately want you, the end user, to own and experience for yourself. That is true engagement.

* digital-analytics-benchmarks/

Daniel Bruneau, the ministry’s creative director, helps us negotiate a world where both people and machines live, learn and try to change for the better.

Daniel Bruneau