To provide any useful and scalable service to consumers, in any business vertical, you have to become really good at listening to your users. Technology has enabled low barriers to entry in nearly every business vertical, therefore competition has increased significantly. Consumers are fickle and if your are asking them to buy a product or service you have to know what their expectations are, and perhaps more importantly, what suggestions they have for improving the experience. If you don’t, they’ll move along to the hundreds if not thousands of competitors around the world. This doesn’t mean you have to implement or even consider every suggestion. But you do need to make it easy for users to provide feedback, and you do need to respond to every complaint, suggestion or inquiry that comes in. When it comes to world class user experience design, knowledge is your friend.
Great user experience design makes the interface nearly invisible. Think about the google home page. It couldn’t be more simple, and yet it is ruthlessly designed to provide the best user experience possible. It’s as if nothing exists except for the search inquiry you’re about to make. It clears away all noise and clutter and focuses exclusively on what it can do for the user. Leading user experience design focuses primarily on the efficiency and effectiveness of the utility it provides. The stark absentia of the white space on google’s home page is perfect for google, but definitely not appropriate for most brands. Another example is the Hotel Tonight app. Their user experience design focuses on full screen imagery of the property, along with key statistics, including price, rating, and location.
Content is more prevalent and more necessary than ever before when marketing a product or service. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth many times more. Video content is quickly becoming integral to any web or mobile destination. But, if not planned for carefully, it can ruin any first impression of an otherwise great user experience design. Users have little patience, especially with a first time visit. Design for the most frictionless load times possible. Every partial second counts.
Creating digital products requires you to always keep your eye on the big picture because there is so much fluidity necessary . Your product is a living thing – it will be iterative, and there will be seemingly constant updates and changes to the engineering and design. There will be an alpha release, a beta release, a version 1 release a version 2 release and so on. It literally never ends, and ultimately you don’t want it to. Undoubtably you’ll wish an update scheduled for release 2 was included in the beta….it won’t be of course, and that’s ok. Focusing on the task at hand while planning for the big picture takes a lot of patience.
Disruptor brands exist because legacy brands became complacent or otherwise fell behind. One of the primary reasons for falling behind was the creation of silo’d divisions and teams within corporations, too focused only on their own needs and ruthlessly competitive with the other silos. Don’t make that same mistake as you grow and scale your company. Keep everyone talking and collaborating. It takes a diverse, collaborative teams to build modern brands. This includes having seamless integration and teamwork between your engineering and design teams. They won’t always agree, but they will respect each other and make better products.