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Silicon Valley Lab Helps Bring Social Science to Social Engagement

SocialxDesign to Launch New Service for Designing and Testing Social and Mobile Applications; Mondelez International, Formerly Kraft Foods Inc., Is Among the First Clients to Use the Lab to Test New Mobile Applications

SUNNYVALE, CA and WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwire) -- 02/13/13 -- SocialxDesign, a social technology business consultancy, today announced the launch of a new service that promises to bring more scientific rigor to the development of social and mobile applications, and the engagement campaigns that support them.

Dubbed "The SocialxDesign Innovation Lab," the new service taps researchers on the SocialxDesign team trained at the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab, the home of a pioneering new approach to application development. Known as "behavior design," the approach enables developers to rapidly iterate and test changes to the user experience to elicit specific target behaviors. The science of behavior design is now poised to gain a larger audience in the marketplace.

Among the Lab's first clients is Mondelēz International (NASDAQ: MDLZ), a world leader in chocolate, biscuits, gum, candy, coffee and powdered beverages. Comprising the global snacking and food brands of the former Kraft Foods Inc., Mondelēz International recently launched an incubator, called Mobile Futures, which aims at identifying, testing and marketing cutting-edge mobile applications by teaming its power brands with select startups. SocialxDesign is partnering with product innovation boutique firm Prehype to assist with the planning and strategic development of these applications.

"With Mobile Futures, we are looking at shaping the future of mobile and creating meaningful experiences for our consumers. By working with some of the brightest entrepreneurs in the space, we hope to ultimately spark intrapreneurship within our own organization," said Bonin Bough, Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondelēz International. "The SocialxDesign Innovation Lab offers us the right venue for bringing those people together to test new ideas and create entirely new ventures that address broader business challenges."

"The world of social and mobile application development has grown almost exponentially in the last few years," said Margarita Quihuis, VP at SocialxDesign and a researcher at Stanford. "Organizations of all types -- large companies in the private sector, agencies in the public sector -- are looking to develop and deploy applications that can radically augment their ability to interact with their constituents. The bad news is that most applications, and the campaigns developed to support them, fail -- not just from the perspective of user experience, but from the perspective of 'behavior design.' In other words, most applications and campaigns fail to trigger the desired action that would make them meaningful for the user. The good news, however, is that these actions can be embedded into the design of the application and the overall engagement experience."

The SocialxDesign Innovation Lab hopes to close this gap in application and campaign development via an eight-week sprint that includes:

  • Research into user needs, preferences, and biases of users prior to the development of the application interface.

  • Research into existing customer and social databases that can be integrated into the user experience, depending on the application.

  • Research and benchmarking the work of competitors or peer organizations.

  • A workshop setting for creating, iterating, and testing a number of design concepts for both applications and engagement campaign messaging.

  • Development of a roadmap for the development, rollout and marketing of applications, along with a model for measuring success of the campaign.

SocialxDesign sees a wide range of opportunities for bringing the Lab to organizations in both the private and public sectors.

"Every day, we speak with leaders at businesses, NGOs and government entities who are interested in creating better social applications, mobile applications, data-driven dashboards, and, yes, effective engagement campaigns -- online and offline -- to support them," said Giovanni Rodriguez, CEO and co-founder of SocialxDesign. "A common complaint is that there isn't a lot of rigor in the development of applications and engagement campaigns to vouch for their efficacy. With the Lab, we hope bring that rigor to the entire process -- which is both an art and a science -- and measurably move the needle for our clients."

About SocialxDesign
We enable organizations to grow, reduce costs, and increase their market value by empowering the people they serve -- employees, customers, and citizens. With a philosophical-yet-pragmatic approach to addressing new market realities -- where empowerment is at the center of value creation -- we're helping businesses, government agencies and NGOs to remake themselves for the socially-networked economy.

An affiliate of Eastwick -- one of the nation's top technology communications agencies -- and with ties to leading social-technology research professionals at Stanford University and cutting-edge public affairs experts throughout the US -- SocialxDesign is an independent firm with offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Current and former clients include The White House, NATO, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a broad range of leaders in the commercial sector who are committed to rethinking their approach to consumer engagement.

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