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Challenging the status quo of design
Provocative steps for designers crafting a game-changing product
Here's what you'll learn:
Meeting the quality expectations of our customers
Opportunities within experience
and much more…
Let’s dive in…
Designers play a crucial role in bringing ideas to life and ensuring that they meet expectations and deliver a positive user experience. One essential step in the design process to create software that gets users excited is to define clear objectives, streamline user interactions, prioritize simplicity and usability, and continuously iterate and refine the design.
A product that doesn’t meet the quality expectations of its customers isn’t going to be a success.
And that’s why it is important we have a great design execution
We have to assess the quality and review the coded implementation
and make sure we sign off the implementation from the design side before shipping.
Yet, many get stuck designing products they want with their opinions vs what their customers want and their needs.
Just a reminder that you are not your users.
Regardless of how innovative or groundbreaking a product may be, if it falls short in terms of quality & expectations, it is unlikely to gain traction or satisfy its intended audience.
“Does what it’s supposed to do…”
No car manufacturer would ever release that, but many tech companies do this every quarter. Feature, feature, feature, feature… there is more to a product than a new feature.
“Meh. First impressions are mixed.”
Design compliant (Systems thinking, consistency of design, things are where you expect them to be; the steering wheel is where you expect it)
Performant—meets requirements, and not out of the ordinary for industry expectations and best practices.
First impressions are mixed. It’s nice but it doesn’t stand out. Looks like every other product out there.
“I can’t wait to do that again.”
Delivering proven-value focus.
The A in Consumability… this is the WOW of a Hill being delivered.
Emotional feel, invested in the brand, forgiving of its faults. The better quality the more excited Sales and Marketing are excited to sell it.
Performance—Is off the charts amazing! And a noticeable selling feature. The way it delivers the experience is smooth and satisfying as it moves through the flow perfectly.
Expectations → Meet quality expectations of customers & Meet quality expectations of customers
To meet the quality expectations of customers, a business or organization should strive to deliver products or services that consistently satisfy or exceed their customers' requirements and preferences.
Opportunities to raise the bar
Experience design can transform functional products into memorable and enduring experiences. End users have a high level of expectations but how do we get there?
This typically manifests through 4 potential facets:
Emotion-Memory Link — emotionally charged events persist in our memories beyond the product’s base functional value. We remember things that make us feel a certain way.
Aesthetic-Usability Effect — aesthetically pleasing experiences empower usability and increase the user’s willingness to learn and adapt.
Persuasive Emotion (Gut Feeling) — emotions enable users to make gut and swift decisions. We use cognition to understand and interpret our world, but our emotions catalyze decision-making.
Ownership Effect — users place more value in experiences where they feel a sense of personalized ownership as if the experience/product is an extension of themselves.
By considering and incorporating emotional elements, you can create more memorable, engaging, and persuasive products and experiences that resonate with users on a deeper level.
The A in Consumability
This is the WOW of a Hill being delivered.
How do we create an emotional hook where our customers are excited to test drive. It’s not that your customer is excited for a windshield on their vehicle it’s that everything in the cockpit is personalized to make you love the experience, based on your favorites (door unlocks as you approach, steering wheel repositioned and chair contours to perfect lumbar support, air temperature set, music stations, and it just seems like the car welcomes you—this is what sells itself)
First impressions matter
Do we really judge a product, app, or service quickly?
It takes merely 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about a website/product. In the blink of an eye, bias is established leading to whether the product is worth exploring further. According to one study, first impressions are 94% design related.
Before we continue, make sure you check out our Youtube channel. Every week we discuss how to become a better designer through strategies, tactics, and stories. And, see familiar faces from around the design industry.
Ok, now what?
Poor quality, or underdelivering has a cost…. internally and externally.
✅ Make your web design, product, and app simple and familiar.
✅ Follow conventions.
❌ Trends are not always your friend
People have a fixed idea of what your product should look like. If you go for innovative, unconventional layouts, people are less likely to like them.
Appraisal cost: Quality issues are monitored & measured as a check or assessment. Ideas you can implement:
User experience reviews
Internal cost: Quality issues are discovered late but before the product is delivered to the customer. Ideas you can implement:
Issues caught & prioritized too late
Roadmaps at risk
External cost: Quality issues are discovered after the product is delivered to the customer. Ideas you can implement:
Brand reputation loss
Prevention cost: Quality issues are identified & addressed during design & implementation. Ideas you can implement:
Quality planning & prioritization
QA in process
Training & education
Costs of poor quality in a thriving company will be about 10-15% of operations. Effective quality improvement programs can reduce this substantially, thus making a direct contribution to profits. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with a new trendy design, give users what they expect, when they expect it, and where they expect it.
Inject a quality management process
Now that we know users have high expectations and make decisions very quickly, how can we maintain the right level of quality without significantly slowing things down or increasing costs?
This isn’t just true of just physical products like cars, but digital ones as well. A poor-quality app will soon be uninstalled. A poor-quality or difficult website or product will soon go unused.
So how can you maintain the right level of quality without significantly slowing things down or significantly increasing costs?
Set the bar
Customer satisfaction and loyalty are built on the foundation of delivering products that not only meet but exceed their quality expectations. Strive for excellence, invest in quality assurance processes, and listen to your customers to create products that truly stand out in the market.
Clearly Define Objectives: Before diving into designing software, it's essential to define clear objectives for your project. Ask yourself: What problem does this software aim to solve? What are the key features and functionalities it should have?
Streamline User Interactions: Understanding how users will interact with your software is crucial to its success. Identify the key user interactions that need to be intuitive and engaging.
Keep it Simple and Focused: When designing software, it's important to keep it simple and focused on the core functionalities. Avoid overwhelming users with unnecessary features or complexity.
Prioritize Usability and Intuitiveness: Usability should be a top priority in software design. Design the software with the user's perspective in mind, ensuring that interactions and interface elements are straightforward, logical, and align with user expectations.
Iterate and Refine: Software design is an iterative process. Continuously gather feedback from users, stakeholders, and colleagues. Use this feedback to refine your design, addressing any pain points or areas for improvement.
Beyond the standard checklist of features, designers must strive to redefine objectives by asking profound questions.
👉 How can this software truly make a difference?
👉 What emotions should it evoke?
👉 What are the user’s true expectations?
By infusing purpose and passion into the objectives, designers can create software that transcends utility and becomes a catalyst for transformation.
Step 1 - Challenge conventional objectives and redefine them with a touch of purpose and passion.
Immersive User Interactions: Designing software is not merely about functionality; it is about crafting immersive experiences. By understanding the psychology of users, designers can create interactions that engage, surprise, and captivate. Every swipe, click, and animation should be carefully orchestrated to evoke emotions and forge a profound connection.
Step 2: Dive into the minds of users to design interactions that transcend functionality and create captivating experiences.
Embracing Complexity with Simplicity: In a world filled with complexity, simplicity becomes a rare gem that stands out. Designers must navigate the intricate web of technology, features, and data to distill it into a seamless and intuitive user interface. Simplicity, however, is not about stripping away; it is about unveiling the essence of the software's purpose with elegance and clarity.
Step 3: Embrace the complexity of the software landscape and transform it into a simple and intuitive experience that resonates with users.
Emotion as the North Star: Great software is not just a tool; it is an emotional journey. By weaving emotions into the fabric of design, designers can create software that leaves a lasting impression. Whether it's delight, inspiration, or a sense of empowerment, the emotional connection forged with users becomes the guiding star that leads to exceptional design.
Step 4: Let emotions be the guiding force in design, creating software that moves hearts and minds and has the necessary resources and support to achieve them.
A good design is the sum of all parts coming together to form a whole. It is not just the features or the visual aesthetic. It is every moving part coming together to create a magical experience for users.
Creating software that gets users excited requires a thoughtful approach. By defining clear objectives, streamlining user interactions, prioritizing simplicity and usability, and continuously iterating and refining, designers can create software that not only meets expectations but also leaves a lasting positive impression on users.
The bar for product excellence is shaped by the last great experience the customer encountered.
Mitchell & Pascal
Hey, Mitchell & Pascal here! Thanks for checking out this week’s free edition of the Shaping Design newsletter. We strive to send you the best tips and our very own unique perspective each week. Subscribe to get each article!
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