Finding Ways to Deliver a Unique Experience
Do you think your product is completely unique? The truth is, it probably isn’t, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. According to the Design Council, there are an estimated 232,001 product designers in the UK. Most of today’s most successful products are not as ground-breaking as they might claim to be.
You need to be innovative and flexible to succeed, but rather than aim to reinvent the wheel, it can be better to concentrate on how to make an idea work as a uniquely better experience.
Competition is increasingly fierce across every consumer market and going beyond differentiation to be truly distinctive is the goal of leading companies today. With so many products delivering a standard that is consistently ‘good’, how is it possible to deliver on an ambition to be ‘great’?
Focus on the End Customer
When embarking any new product design or service design challenge, it is essential to maintain a laser sharp focus on the end customer.
While it’s important to encourage collaborative effort and align contributors from different business functions in the product development process, user research and iterative testing are really what make or break the design effort.
Using insight and tangible data to keep everyone focused on what is really important –how the big idea is being perceived by the customer and how they see it fitting into their lives – will optimise the chances of creating a solution that transcends the status quo.
Keep it Simple
Simplicity is key in realising the potential of a good idea. Aside of making it easy to understand, it also makes something easier to navigate, remember and return to.
Designing digital products and services requires a critical eye and a commitment to keeping things simple. Users need to understand what problem is being tackled by a piece of digital design. If the purpose of a digital product is too vague, customers will fail to engage. If the design is elegantly and acute in its execution however, then user adoption will be more likely and uptake accelerated by advocacy online.
Ego is the Enemy
It can be tough for a designer not to get overly attached to or defensive about a piece of digital product design, having invested time, energy, thought and artistry into their work. Sometimes people just don’t see what they see or agree with what the designer feels is right. It’s this kind of subjectivity that can make the creative process so challenging.The key to overcoming this is to design clear insights and guidelines established through research. The guiding principle should be to do what’s meaningful in the eyes of the user. That means being willing to compromise, change tack, or scrap an idea completely if iterative testing of an idea in development is revealing too many flaws. For a designer, there are ways to keep the necessary distance between creative ego and delivering good design.
Test the Trendy
While digital product designers need to understand and key into fast moving design trends, inspiration from elsewhere should never come at the expense of the user experience.
Some templated trends like oversized images and hand drawn illustrations for example can be used to effectively service user requirements while feeling on trend. More experimental interactions that hijack more established and intuitive functionality, make for poor experiences.
Some trends in digital product design work well in a certain context or can be useful in some applications but backfire when applied at the wrong time or in the wrong industry.
Should you look to exploit a recognised trend when developing your digital product strategy? Maybe. But remember to test whether these design features help users to accomplish their end goals or just start get in the way. Shoehorning a feature into a design just because it feels slick can do more harm than good.
An experienced software house will be required to take a mapped out or simply prototyped idea and translate it into a robust digital product. At Recipe Design, we understand how to manage this intent in way that optimises design execution and delivers the best user experience.
It’s also important to create a marketing strategy and toolkit for successful launch and promotion. Involving influencers, brands, and bloggers in the space will invite interest, raise awareness and establish the foundation for successful conversion rates in-market.
This article was first published in December 2021