B’STRO puts usability first, promotes O’Donovan to Digital Director

October 8, 2014

By promoting usability expert Lauren O’Donovan to the role of Digital Director, BSTRO has reaffirmed a long-standing core belief: If it’s not intuitive, you’re going to lose people.

“Lauren is a fantastically vocal, passionate advocate for making things as simple as possible for the end user: our clients’ target consumers,” said Jill Tracy, Founder and Chief Creative Officer at B’stro. “Her dual background in usability and web development, combined with her love of data, have made her an indispensable member of our team from the start. Having her direct our digital initiatives will ensure we continue to push the envelope and keep our clients’ communications as intuitive as possible, especially as tools and technology advance.”

Lauren O finalLauren’s technical expertise has most recently been put to use on wide-scale projects for the Johnson & Johnson family of brands, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and AnxietyBC. It was while working as an EU researcher on web accessibility for the blind, however, that she first discovered her passion for usability.

“Here were people who were trying to get by in a digital world that was not built for them. Of course, in those days web technology was barely usable by anyone: it was clunky, it had no finesse. But for the deaf and blind, it was truly inaccessible. That’s why I was honored to be part of the European Union’s movement to do something significant to address that.”

In her new role as B’stro’s Digital Director, Lauren will bring her usability and accessibility leadership to email campaigns, SEO, app development, social media campaigns, and web development. “If your target audience doesn’t know how to interact with your marketing initiative,” Lauren explains, “that’s a big problem. As a consumer, I often receive marketing emails in which usability is not the priority. They’re either unreadable on the phone, or the links haven’t been properly tested, or there’s no clear call to action…and the end result is that I delete it without any meaningful interaction. When this happens, all I can think about is the waste of resources spent on what could have been a great campaign. I’d never let that kind of missed opportunity happen at B’stro.”

Lauren O final 2Lauren’s pronounced zeal for usability is just one aspect of why she’s so passionate about her work. She’s also a self-professed “data nerd,” someone who regularly astounds team members and clients alike with her seemingly endless passion for the power of analytics. “I do truly love the data,” she admits without hesitation. “I’m obsessed with human psychology, and whether you’re looking at metrics from web site traffic, social media campaigns or email programs, it’s all a study in human behavior. Why did they click on this link, and not the other? How did they arrive at this website, and where are they going from here? I think it’s fascinating.”

But, Lauren is quick to point out, it’s not strictly her own obsessive curiosity that drives her devotion to the metrics. “It’s what we do with the information that matters.” Decisions should be based on solid analytics, she says, not guesswork or gut feelings. “Why shoot in the dark and waste time and effort, when all the data is right there? I can see which type of messaging did well with each segment of the audience, so that’s what I’ll be leveraging when directing the next communication. It takes a little legwork to uncover, but I believe going the extra mile is worth it if it means creating a successful campaign in the end. Which,” she can’t help but add, “is what I’m here to achieve.”

Spoken like a true director. Congratulations, Lauren!