What has happened to the world? This faded monochrome world seems too boring to me. My life just revolves round the color palette and pixels. My world is compelling, connecting and intuitive. Filling colors in life and connecting the dots of senses gives the soul to the ‘speechless’.
I question you, What do you call a Good Design? What makes one a Great Designer? I think I am a good creative designer and in my world of Creative Ninjas, all are superb designers. Try me once :-). Well I would seriously say that ‘A Great Design is Invisible, But Still Speak Itself’. I will keep giving you design gyan throughout your read but before that, my dear readers you have to drench yourself in pastels and hues and if not forever at least for this read put on your colorful glasses. Hope you don’t see this pixelated by the time you and I are done here. 🙂
A – Why Interactive Designs:
1- Connected Experiences are Compelling Experiences: Today smartphones can connect to your alarm clocks, your watches, or probably even your coffee pots. There is now an ultimate need of designs which focuses more in maintaining a connected experience across multiple devices and an ‘interactive design’ builds towards a stronger UX strategy.
2- Improve Conversions with Better Personalization: In my world of Ninjas we too celebrate birthdays. For my niece’s sixth birthday, I decided to buy her a Mary Francis bag on Zappos. I’ve been window shopping for her on Zappos for months, and today I came across this kids-focused shopping recommendations on an app. (Yeah, I don’t know what was that either) Not only did I end up buying this bag for her but also a totally unnecessary denim shorts that Zappos recommended. Why this story relevant to a UX Designer who may or may not be into one Mary Francis bag? That’s because my order doubled thanks to the mobile app and website’s personalization and if more orders double, we are talking about serious profits and seriously happy clients! I don’t win. My niece wins. So yes, I win. Zappos wins. And Zappo’s UX team wins.
Apart from playing with themes, color shades and pixels I also gather some stats and do research work in support of my claims and tall talks. So, here you go:
- According the Aberdeen Group, 75% of consumers prefer when brands personalize messages and offers.
- Janrain & Harris Interactive found that over 70% of online consumers get frustrated with mobile apps and websites when content—be it an offer, ad, or promotion—appears that has nothing to do with their interests.
Words of Wisdom
In other words, whether consumers are looking for kids’ shoes or computer hardware, personalization is what they want.
It is all about connections. Touch.
B – How Great Designers Think:
Whenever I am wearing a hat of creative Ninja and finally on the verge of making my move, the most common questions I ask myself are,
- What is the least amount of work a user has to do, to achieve their desired outcome?
- Who actually enjoys fiddling around with dropdown menus, input forms and buttons?
Sometimes as creative designer, you can be distracted by unnecessary noise when thinking through an experience. You must be giving too much emphasis to ‘beautifully designed forms’ because it’s the easier way out. But a great effective way is to think of the end goal and work backwards. This allows you to think beyond UI elements and really focus on what matters.
Let me take you to the thought process of a great designer:
- Moving Beyond the Reach: A great designer understands that most of the time people fail to communicate their expression and they don’t say what they mean and most importantly people often don’t know what they mean. Great designers aim to move beyond what you get from simply asking consumers what they need and want.
- People over Consumers: Great designers don’t tend to think about consumers; they think about people and what they want and need. I know it may seem weird to you. But as a great creative designer I do this because thinking about people as consumers immediately dehumanizes them and makes it harder to empathize with them.
- Keen Observation: Great designers observe. One fine day while I was on a lovely and lucky walk with Paul Smith where we were exchanging ideas, he explained to me, beautifully, “You and I could walk down the street together and look at the same things, but I’d see ten times more than you would.”
- Ability to Visualize: Many firms, large incorporations are plagued by articulate and persuasive ‘smart talkers’ who may sound nice at meeting but get bogged down in abstract complexities. Great designers are one who I call ‘inspirational tangibility’ and ‘making it real’. They would take no time in enabling large amounts of complex data to be understood and absorbed quickly with a diagram. Great designers have the ability to quickly lash together a physical or digital mock-up of a proposed solution.
C- Great Designers behind Big Brands:
Let’s see what the big brands have to say about their designers and what place does UI/UX in share of profit.
Airbnb, Disney World, Uber and Nest are all phenomenal products, which together are worth over $135 billion! The large enterprises not only deliver great service value but their experiences so well-thought and apt-implemented that their strategy goes unnoticed. I also say that their user experiences are invisible.
- Airbnb Says – Ultimate user experience giving you accommodation: Airbnb believes that designs are a lot more than just gorgeous pixels. One of the USP of Airbnb is that they can optimize a ‘guest’ search results with ‘hosts’ that are most likely to accept your request as a priority. Airbnb gives top priority to the ultimate user experiences which must be definitely an aim of every web or mobile application. This makes experience on Airbnb more meaningful as you’re very likely to receive a quick and successful response from a host. Airbnb could have thousands of ‘available’ places to stay at but if no hosts wants to accommodate you — you’ll have a negative experience.
Hence, ultimate user experience attracts thousands of customers.
- Disney World – Making the kids world magical: Oh, I love Disney. Don’t you? In fact most of us do. Let me show you how important we creative Ninjas are for taking your company profits to heights. This story – You must be quite amazed to know that $1 billion got invested in the making of one particular magical wristband. But why my friends? Why such huge amount? Because this wristband gives them the opportunity to create a frictionless and magical experience through its invisible design. Friends this beautiful user experience gets its start while you were booking your ticket online, stepping inside the restaurants, choosing your favorite rides or whatever. The genius behind the scenes at Disney are busy in capturing everything from you. Within no time they are able to take your child’s favorite cartoon character on their little wrists!
Hence, when visitors spend less time in lines, they can do more and spend more. Great Designs brings Great Experiences.
- Uber - Disrupting an entire industry with one screen: Who ever thought that one screen could disrupt an entire industry? Stranded on the busy roads on cold winters at 4am in California is of course not a great experience. Not knowing where the taxi stands add to the trouble. Not knowing the exact cost of destination seems a nightmare. But Uber phenomenal design gives ultimate experience.
Within one screen it comprises of all key necessities and solves all uncertainties of consumers.
Someone from a team of proficient designers nailed it when he asked, “What is the least amount of work a user has to do, to achieve their desired outcome?” And then somebody said, “One screen to bind them all, one screen to rule them!” Rest as they say, is history.
I notice things a lot and may be that makes my work more interesting 🙂 If you have noticed, Uber has completely changed the outlook of the concept of ‘book a cab for tomorrow’. Uber did simply disrupt and revolutionize the industry standards and expectations.
Hence, designers must think more holistically about a product and an experience
“A human made these things & a human can make it better. Don’t be afraid. Go try it yourself” — Tony Fadell
Start pushing yourself into exploring new ways of experiencing digital products. We all are in this digital age and hence this age open doors to various opportunities, practices and possibilities. Do not conform to patterns and trends. They grow old and don’t even last.