Selling the Omni-Channel Journey.


It’s no surprise to me, or my friends and family, that I was declared a full on “Enthusiast” when I took the Enneagram. For those who don’t know the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself. Diving deeper, the Enneagram Institute goes as far as to say the “Enthusiast” personality type gets excited about nearly everything

Unfortunately, this post is not all about me. I know bummer all the readers out there were collectively giving a sigh of relief. Rather, it’s the excitement I feel while getting people excited about potential improvements to their day to day experiences. According to Enneagram, it’s within the very threads of my personality to value a worthwhile experience

Our industry uses storytelling and user personas for our clients. User Personas for our clients to better understand a problem. We not only do this for our clients but we do this internally when we are looking on how to iterate on a workflow, process or problem. Yeah, that’s right folks, we eat our cake too.

Recently we created some proto-personas s to understand our future customer’s journey. We also wanted to know more about their challenges, motivations, and goals in order to better help them succeed.

Our team focuses on interactions and behaviors that users make on their journey. This is the micro level of user experience. There is also a higher, macro level of user experience, called the omnichannel user experience. Omnichannel user experience examines the whole customer journey through a shopping experience. It addresses the user’s transition across channels and their ability to proceed through various stages of the journey.

“Most important elements of the ideal
customer experience: Simple purchasing
processes: 47%.”

— The Economist Intelligence Unit, September 2014

Now, my task is set. How do I present the idea of an “Omnichannel Journey User Experience” to future customers? Even if you tried, you cannot put “that” into a box with evolving customer behaviors and expectations. The value we bring as a team is the value we bring as a team goes beyond enriching your customer’s experience. We do this by letting them take advantage of multiple devices while providing a consistent, cohesive and a familiar experience with whatever screen they are using.

I have found on my own journey through business development that it’s not about what stack your developers know or the design chops your team has but rather your team’s ability to solve unseen problems. I don’t want to belittle or deny the importance of the capabilities because they are hugely important. Did you read about Jim’s post about managing the data of +200,000 products. Well, maybe if you come from outside the computer science world like I do it sounds very complex.

We see billions of these micro-moments every day at Google, when people are saying, in essence, “I want to know,” “I want to go,” “I want to do,” and “I want to buy.”

-Lisa Gevelber at Google

There is the kicker, how do you approach a complicated problem? I would like to say “Yeah that’s easy, start with the problem you want to solve. Though I am guilty of saying this, it starts even before knowing the problem.Here is how we start: we ask a sh*t load of question. And then, we ask a shi*t load more

As I say to the kids at Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship don’t be scared of failing because it is going to happen and it’s going to happen a lot. In fact keep failing and learn from it. this means you are trying something new. We tell our clients, we are here to understand, so get ready because we like to dig deep. We want to inform and guide current and future customers of the idea of creating a holistic experience. We are not glued to one screen on our journey through a product, we’re looking much broader than one micro engagement.

Do you have a project that could benefit from omnichannel user experience? Tell us your Enneagram score because it’s crazy weird and interesting or just give us a shout out!

Until next time,

Justin Heuss

The Maslow Experience.


The other day I was chatting with my wife Alli and we were talking about life with a newborn.  Pretty much we are in survival mode as our little one, Harper, begins to teeth.  Which led us to chat about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  I mean, don’t you guys talk about this too? It helps that Alli has her masters in clinical psychology so these topics are at the forefront of our growing family. We both get excited about learning new things from sociology, psychology or intriguing stories around development.

A brief lesson in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs- in 1943 psychologist Abraham Maslow attempted to answer the question of what motivates us as humans in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. This paper was the basis for what we now know as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow refined his theory until his death in 1970. His final version breaks human needs into eight categories. There are four basic needs:

  • biological & physiological needs
  • safety needs
  • social needs
  • esteem needs

Once these basic needs are met, there are four higher-order needs:

  • cognitive needs
  • aesthetic needs
  • self-actualization
  • transcendence

According to Maslow, we’re only capable of focusing on the next need (see above) in the hierarchy if our previous needs have been met. You’re not going to be wondering about the meaning of life and existential questions if your basic needs (food, shelter, and safety) are not met.

The logic behind Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been a backdrop within the rise of digital products. A commonality among products providing value to users is their consideration to the hierarchy of needs. From social networks to food delivery apps, companies are tapping into a deeper level understanding of their users. Coming up with solutions that go beyond using technology as the solution.

If we take a note from the basic needs of what Maslow is addressing here we can confidently say that once our basic needs are met we crave a deeper and richer experience. UX often only addresses a part of the experience. As companies build products that tune into our psychological needs, the industry is evolving to take a more holistic approach to the design experience, creating design that is intentional and intuitive.


At Elevator Up we take on this approach to provide insight that does not stop with the user. We firmly believe in making meaningful experience whether that is tapping into our human need for self-actualization or fulfilling the need to improve the cognitive function. As always give us a shout we would love to chat more or just listen to your story!

  • Justin Heuss- Business Development at Elevator Up

Ethics is a key differentiator.

tumblr_o6nnz8glgm1tubinno1_1280Let’s be honest, 2016 has been a pretty tough year. In review, we have lost some amazing people: Sharon Jones, Prince, Gene Wilder, Muhammed Ali, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher and even Kenny Baker, known for playing the original R2D2.  And the list goes on, not to mention other upheavals in the political climate both at home and abroad. Then came the holidays and I was hopeful to hear about the goodwill toward men(humankind)

You may have heard that Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, announced that all of its global profits from Black Friday would go to organizations supporting the environment, such as “grassroots organizations working in local communities to protect our air, water, and soil for future generations.” Quite a generous promise to underfunded organizations.

Patagonia was only expecting two million dollars in profits on that day, but they blew that forecast out of the water. In fact, they brought in ten million dollars in sales from the post-holiday event. Way to go, Patagonia. Not only do you have offer stellar maternity/paternity leave benefits to your employees, affordable onsite childcare and have a 100% return rate of mom’s coming back to work after maternity leave, you also donated 10 million for the environment!

“There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

This lead me to do more research on how ethics can impact business and if that impact is measurable. I dug into what The Ethisphere® Institute was doing and thought this is perfect!

If you don’t know  The Ethisphere® Institute is a Scottsdale, Arizona-based organization that defines and measures corporate ethical standards, recognizes companies that excel, and promotes best practices in corporate ethics.

They created this impressive infographic showing how ethics is the measurable differentiator. As you can see from the graphic how their 2016 honorees (131 business from around the world including Xerox,3M, Cisco, Starbucks and MasterCard) performed against S&P 500 in 2015.


What this brings to light and is a great reminder for us when we design, build and sell is that we have a choice to do what is right. As my good friend Dumbledore said, “There will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

It is my hope that companies see the value of ethics, not only because you should do what is right, but because it is a measurable differentiator. Speaking of differentiators, if you are looking at your own company and feeling like your competitive advantage is still gray, just give us a shout because we are really good at identifying it with you.

Justin Heuss- Business Development at Elevator Up

Let’s Geek Out!

I am not alone when I say we love geeking out over all the things at Elevator Up. This comes in many forms such as Google’s announcement of products, (Check out our Instagram, the team really got into it) to ideas of being goat farmers in Iceland (ahem- Amelie & Jim, I am talking about you.)

When Aaron was in St. Louis we had lots of chats on how we can grow our company.  One of those chats leads to a rant about how science fiction is an awesome medium to communicate ideas, not only ideas that progress a story but also have an impact in our world today. Boom! Nerd card is on the table. I became extremely fascinated by this concept back in high school when we were reading Lord of the Flies. I still remember Mr. VanZanten teaching us about macrocosm and microcosm – it was incredible! William Golding’s analysis of the world and how WWII impacted him still resonates with me today.

It’s hard not to see what this genre has done for our society from William Gibson’s book in 1984 “Neuromancer” which predicted cyberspace and computer hackers, (I know, right?! Mind blown)

to one of the creators of the genre itself Jules Verne who wrote a book in 1865 “From the Earth to the Moon.” It’s not hard to see that this topic is getting more traction from universities having courses in technocultural studies that started in 2012.

MIT Media Lab takes it a step further using classic and modern elements of science fiction to create functional prototypes. There are classes like “Science Fiction to Science Fabrication” where students make robot arms like in Star Wars, to a “Sensory Fiction” class where students learn to create an “immersive reading experience” using lights, sounds, sensors, and even a wearable. The wearable gets hotter and lights get brighter if the main character was at, say, a beach. It could also vibrate in a pattern similar to a heartbeat to simulate the character’s heartbeat in the story during intense or relaxing scenes.

We all love a great story, especially at Elevator Up! Our Slack channel is filled with articles on the aforementioned topics. That’s why we love working with businesses to learn what their story is and how we can help them with digital transformation. We geek out with excitement to develop an experience for their story.

Tell us your story and send us your thoughts! I said before we are giddy with excitement to help.

Until next time,

Justin Heuss, Business Development

Originally posted on