Digital experience is still a black box

Tianyu WANG
3 min readJun 16, 2023


I would like to recount my personal encounter as a mobile app consumer and shed light on the prevailing issue with digital experience.

Allow me to recount a genuine experience I had with the Adidas mobile application. It is important to note that my intention is not to disparage the company, but rather to share an authentic customer journey and my accompanying thoughts.

To ease the understanding, I have included screenshots below, illustrating each step I undertook, accompanied by corresponding emojis to encapsulate my emotions at the time.

Let us direct our attention to the initial three screenshots, encompassing the journey from the app’s opening screen to its home page. Regrettably, this endeavor consumed over 30 seconds of my valuable time. Despite owning a mobile device that is not the latest model, I found the loading time to be inadequately sluggish. In an attempt to rectify the situation, I made several attempts at opening and closing the app, yet observed minimal improvement. As an end user, my assumption leans toward an issue with the application itself. The question is, does/will Adidas know what is happening here?

Imagine standing in a queue at the entrance of an Adidas store; your body language would undoubtedly convey your discontent to the attentive store staff. However, the digital world sounds like a mystery box. During my experience of waiting for content to load, I found myself alone at home, devoid of any store staff to assist me or even a channel to express my frustrations to others. While I can submit a customer feedback ticket, uncertainty lingers regarding the response time. In a physical store, where you engage in face-to-face conversations with prompt and amiable responses, digital shopping lacks that immediacy and personal touch.

I searched for news about Adidas’ digital experience and discovered numerous articles and reports on the subject. As today’s market provides many analytics tools for collecting and improving end users’ experience, I presume that Adidas has implemented strategies to address these concerns. However, my personal issue with app loading time occurred two months ago, and nothing has changed so far. Same question as before: are they aware of the problem I’m facing? Are other users encountering similar experiences? We don’t know. At least, their tooling can’t provide the same level of understanding as what I just explained, otherwise, the problem should have been fixed. It is possible that my assumptions are incorrect, and perhaps the issue has indeed been identified, but it is simply taking an excessive amount of time for Adidas to implement a solution.

Imagine if the issue I experienced is a widespread problem that affects numerous users. In such a scenario, the company stands to lose substantial opportunities and revenue.

Can we improve? Absolutely. We should find ways to leverage end-user data with machine learning models. With the emergence of various AI tools, we now have the opportunity to predict and comprehend user behavior in the digital realm more effectively. This serves as the crucial first step.

Secondly, we must strive to address issues promptly. In many companies, if the marketing team identifies a negative point and requests the IT team to fix it, this process can take days or even weeks. The digital platform should possess the capability to resolve problems autonomously upon detection, like a self-healing system.

In an ideal world, when a user's journey starts, the digital platform/product should accompany and support him/her throughout. Any frustrations encountered can be quickly identified and communicated to customers in real-time, while bug fixes can be implemented immediately without human intervention or unnecessary delays. It would be amazing to achieve this as a final step.

If we aspire to achieve a seamless experience that mirrors the connection between the digital and physical realms, it’s a long way to go. We stand before the black box, yearning to unveil its secrets.



Tianyu WANG

I am dedicated to empowering my teams, fostering efficiency and collaboration, and yielding more successful stories.