User Experience

Design thinking: even WiFi passwords can support your brand message

By Nicholas Gracilla  ·   July 5, 2015  ·  1 minute read

Topics: User Experience

Can an IT infrastructure requirement break free from frustrating experiences, and express a brand promise of friendliness?

If you’ve flown, you have seen them, sitting on the floor outside airport clubs across the nation—WiFi “squatters,” pun intended. Until universal free WiFi is available in airports around the nation, folks will do what they must to find a reliable (and hopefully free) signal.

United Clubs have recently decided to put a stop to all that. Like many organizations, they’ve instituted a daily-changing password on their WiFi network. 

It’s a user experience challenge: the passwords aren’t meaningful, need written down, and are arbitrary. How can this bad experience be turned around?  Can a brand express the values of its promise, even given a tough IT requirement? 

United has been developing its “friendly” brand campaign for some time now. Imagine if the password were something friendly and memorable: 

  • business-friendly
  • club-friendly
  • network-friendly
  • service-friendly
  • legroom-friendly
  • chicago-friendly
  • lounge-friendly

Travelers would see this at the front desk and remember it easily. Customers would literally type out United’s brand campaign messages. It really would be friendly: WiFi-friendly, and customer-friendly.