Across each business and personal aspect of life, it’s no surprise to see people tapping into web and app tools to improve their day-to-day. Unfortunately, users are more likely to receive a poor experience rather than a great one.
Many factors lead any team or project towards a poorly built experience even though the product solves the problem. In most cases, the speed in which the industry works leads a project towards focusing on features, partnerships, and functionality. These items require specific attention that lose key details depending on the process addressed.
Regardless of where you fall in the business pipeline, designers and project managers are missing an important step when determining the best way to solve a user’s problem: consider the human behind each product. The problem will be crystal clear, allowing the designer to modify the look and feel with thoughtful experience design.
A few strategies to keep people in mind as you work towards tackling the market, product design, and the functionality of the web or mobile app. Here is a quick checklist to utilize:
- Pre-work leads to great work and allows for better post-work
- Have a focus on the end goal directionally at each step
- Tap into the personality of a product/service
- As with everything, as humans change, so does their problems
Pre-work leads to great work and allows for better post-work
While projects keep growing, data is collected at all points. For those fortunate able to plan, tap into user feedback to understand the dialogue surrounding similar or same builds or projects. While surveys may seem dull and repetitive, those insights are indicators and potential guidelines for those building the roadmap ahead.
Once you have mapped a direction towards your end goal, look to tap into the prototype stage to test and experiment with human insights and reactions. A tool to consider during this phase is Proto.io and Invision, which allows you to demo, pull insights, and feedback to develop the phases ahead.
Feedback correlates with pain points. Just like an Uber driver talking too much about how his theory of “flat earth”. Don’t assume how the user is going to experience the product, like how the driver expected you to join him at the next flat earth convention.
Utilize the end goal directionally at each step
Once your end goal is developed with the feedback in mind, utilize it as an anchor to prevent you from going too far to a place of no return. Nothing is worse than spending countless hours on a feature or add-on that provides no return for the user. To prevent this, tap into steps that get you to the end goal and revisit the steps at each process change, coding and designing with each update.
Each end goal should have a path towards launching and an understanding of where it falls in the market. If you have no understanding of what makes your product different from the wild wild west of web and mobile apps, then users will not see it as a need or desire among the masses.
The end goal also incorporates the platforms and formats in which your product will serve. Platforms are rarely one to one, so visualize the end as granularly as possible. Know what you need and what you don’t need and this will make each step clear and processable.
Tap into the personality of a product
Imagine dating someone that just solved your sexual urges <winky face>. He or she didn’t provide you with any opinions or conversations but just solved your dry spell. Not the greatest experience for most people. Solving a problem for anyone taps into emotions of gratitude, bliss, and appreciation. However, make the problem more difficult to solve and rocky during the solution and you’ll see how quickly people turn on the experience.
Understand the persona that the design and product provides. Is it quick and easy like the one rebound you had that allowed you to move on with your life? Does it incorporate all your past experiences and try to provide more solutions to make sure you feel great during the entire process like your partner in college that you saw yourself with for a long time?
If you can’t see where I am heading at then maybe you should see your download history and see what apps stuck with you and the apps you left in the dust after a one night use.
As humans change, so does their problems
It may be overstated but be comfortable with change or things will change for you. As you enter this relationship with your product or project, you will have done all your research and planning to see what your end goal is and then develop the persona of the product.
While investment will be high in this relationship, perfection is not possible. Luckily for us, design can be revisited and adjusted. Understanding the details above helps you further process change and improve moving forward.
Look to see the relationships your product develops and through your design and feature builds, it becomes much closer you as a project and to your consumers as product.
In summary, bring it back to your users. The problems they face will become your app’s core problem to solve and why it is the best in-market. This is the key to thoughtful experience design. Good luck with your project!