The ‘X’ Power. The Experience!

UX Design | 06th July 2017

The Super Power that everyone is looking for: Experience Design (XD), Customer Experience (CX), User Experience (UX)… It’s all about the X (Experience)!

Whether you are creating a new service, a new marketing strategy with a powerful conversion rate, or a new product; in all cases, everyone wants to assure the same, the best experience! 

Yes, because it’s this effective and powerful experience that will make people come back and use again. Choose again. Spread the word. Spread the feeling. The magic. Is this eXperience that will increase your recommendations, the range of users you approach and finally YOUR SALES!   

“Products were once designed for the functions they performed. But when all companies can make products that perform their functions equally well, the distinctive advantage goes to those who provide pleasure and enjoyment while maintaining the power. If functions are equated with cognition, pleasure is equated with emotion; today we want products that appeal to both cognition and emotion.” 

Donald Norman

Better the experience, better the story. And as we all know, the way to achieve greatness is not by settling for the little things, but by focusing all our attention on the important ones, in the ones that matter. Then, anyone can make a difference or even, make History!

Better Experience The X Power

“Design creates stories, and stories create memorable experiences, and great experiences have this innate ability to change the way in which we view our world.” 

 Christian Saylor

When we are really used to do something, and we feel confident that we really know what we are doing and how to do it, we might make the mistake to just do it in an auto-pilot mode. Over and over again… But hey! There is a difference between what you think and what you do! This difference is quite relevant because the distance between you and your users is represented by this difference.

Let’s suppose we have a problem to solve. Let’s suppose our problem is the ‘X’ Power. The Experience! Our user experience, or our customer experience. We need to design the best experience. What’s the solution? Beautiful layouts? Probably... 

But that’s not enough.

Discover more on how to design cross-platform experiences.

Designing User Experience

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Imagine that you are building a website or an app, to sell tickets. You choose really amazing images and design an outstanding user interface. Great! But remember, you are not only entertaining, you are trying to give the possibility to someone actually buy or sell their tickets.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”

 Steve Jobs

Imagine when the user/client is trying to buy your product, he can’t find the ‘buy button’ (maybe it’s on the end of the page and he didn’t scroll to the end… or maybe you have the ‘buy button’ right on top, and the user scrolls down to a point that he can’t find it… a lot of possibilities here) or maybe the process after clicking is too complex, or with a lack of consistency between steps & information. We cannot let that happen.

“Don’t make me think”

 Steve Krug

We are talking about fulfillment. You want your user to feel he has accomplished (pleasantly if possible) what he defined he wanted to achieve. The better the process, the better the experience and the emotional memory of the experience.

Focus on the user
Design focusing on the user - By Scott Adams

So let’s do some thinking and define some techniques quick guide, of what we should do to solve problems, in order to have the most powerful ‘X’ Power:

1st rule. Two brains think better than one.

Don’t assume you know everything. Go out there and see other people needs, difficulties and ideas! Research! Ask questions. Good questions. Remember to listen more than you talk. You may be surprised! And inspired.

(& it might save you a lot of time and money!…)

2nd rule. Don’t be afraid to fail.

It’s better done (even with some errors) than perfect but non-existent.

Learn with your mistakes. Let other people learn with your mistakes. Explore a continuous improvement approach to the things you do. "Agile" is actually a very trendy word nowadays. It’s not only a word.

3rd rule. Nothing is forever.

Everything is in constant change, so you better keep this in mind. Some years ago, your parents would have a lifetime job, a home, good furniture, etc… But nowadays we want jobs that make us feel alive, houses that make us feel fulfilled and furniture that make us feel complete. “We even build our own furniture to feel part of the experience”. We don’t care if it won’t last. Everything has an expiration date, one day we had ‘Nokia’, suddenly we had ‘Nokia what?'. Today the brand-new might be an iPhone 7 and tomorrow an iPhone 8.
Nothing is forever. Keep the rhythm.

4th rule. Write it down.

Really helps your brain to do some exercise. Don’t be afraid to put on paper. Customer/user journey maps. Words! Sketches, wireframes and doodles. Everything you feel like using. Mind mapping is actually a super powerful tool that everyone can and should explore. It’s never time lost, you will be doing brain exercise, and luckily, you’ll find you have teleportation super powers.

Mindmapping Superpower

5th rule. Test! Test, test, and test!

Whether is A/B testing or put it into your mother or granny hands. Even when you think it’s done and finished, keep on testing with an open mind. Really important: keep on testing it on other people. Common People. Not technical people. Or maybe those too. But keep the focus on your users/clients. They are the ones who are going to use it. To hate it or love it. Make sure THEY will love it.

Learn how to choose the best usability test for each client.

6th rule. Good information & Good visuals.

They both are top priorities. The main rule is simple: Not too much information, not too less information; Not too much visual elements, not too less visual elements. Keep the balance. Structure your contents. Focus on the function, the action, the target. Remember the order of elements, make smart choices, and present it with a clean & clever look and feel. Make people feel happy for using/reading/wearing whatever you do. Try to keep it simple, direct and effective. The KISS principle is always great to have as Top of Mind.

7th rule. (and the most important one) Who is it for?

Never, but never forget who are you designing to.
Is it a new service, a new product, a new communication (or even a new dinner!…), the golden rule applies in all cases: do it not only for you, but above all, do it for your user/customer (or eater!…).

Use personas, or don’t. Use the method you feel more comfortable with. But always remember what they want, what they search, what they feel, what they need. Make sure your user/customer is happy and satisfied. If they want rice, make rice, if they want pasta, make pasta! :) & avoid useless information.

That’s All Folks! 

Isabel Novais Machado was invited by Hi INTERACTIVE to write this article.

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