There is a very big trend in “design thinking”. This is an approach that is often called “user centric”. I am slightly fascinated by its popularity since I would also say it is an approach of “common sense”. But everyone is so caught up in brand and presentation the users get lost. We would never do this in the physical world. It’s why customer service rules the roost and bad customer service will kill you every time. Designing your website’s user interface and how it works is the silent customer service that you don’t often think about. But without it? Here come the emails and the phone calls.
I have recently been involved in some projects where new web and mobile products have been developed and it has been extremely interesting to see how often the clients are only thinking about themselves rather than their customers/users.
I will proudly state I am a design snob. I will buy something new from the shelves of a pretty small independently run shoppe (yes — shoppe) because of packaging without nary hearing ONE WORD of the product. I will try it because it appeals to me. But if I have come to your website or downloaded your app….I know about you. I’ve found you – now the most important thing? Make my life easy. I’m busy. Don’t make me hunt. Have a clear nav, have a good taxonomy, don’t use lingo that I don’t understand because it’s your internal term for something the rest of the world uses a different word for.
Often people get hung up on creative and how things LOOK. But in this environment you are saddled to user experience. That is the number one driving factor. If it’s creative you’re concerned about? Make sure you have good photography. Make sure you have a decent color palette that can be applied in various use cases. But don’t expect that your design should be the number one factor. Your question should be not what does it look like but DOES IT WORK? You don’t like red? Well red works. They click more on red, the leave when it’s blue. Or sometimes its vice versa…but instead of focusing on whether you like red or blue? Ask…does it work?
It’s all about ME, your customer, and HOW I use your site or app to do whatever it is you want me to do. If I’m not doing what you want me to do? It’s more likely because you have made it hard for me – or your value for the dollar isn’t there. (Which is a whole other conversation not to be had here!)
Make sure you’re watching me, Follow me and all my fellow users, see what we do, see where we go, tag the hell out of that thing. Use all the data that we are giving you to create better offerings, change your pricing, change your photography….
but just make sure it works.
There is a painstaking process to user experience and communicating your ideas must go through in order to be effective. To be good. If you approach this with only YOUR needs in mind – there’s going to be a lot of very disappointed visitors.
It’s very hard in our selfie obsessed culture to put yourself aside. But in these realms it is imperative to your success.
Power To The People.