Why your users are running away?


User thinking and curious


The everyday transformation of digital world is changing human behavior. It has become very difficult to understand their behavior. The habit changing process has become a big challenge now. The user himself/herself doesn’t know what he/she is looking for and why he/she is buying that product? Sometimes user is so confused that he/she forgets what was forgotten. In such a situation it has become very difficult to understand user’s behavior. In this article I will highlight some key points that you can consider while building your WebApp or physical stores.


Behavior: 

The user’s behavior is based on motivation and that relies mostly in 2 parameters “Need and Want”

1. Need: It is essential and extremely necessary for a person to survive. I have to have this product. Example: In India online train ticket buying by irctc.co.in or visiting Government banks are extremely pain and I don’t have any other choices either. I have to go thru this. 


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2. Want: It is a person desires, either immediately or in the future. I shall visit certain Apps or stores and I shall buy a product only if I found it trustworthy and easy to use. Example: amazon.in/flipkart.com or any physical stores like various showrooms (Nike, Adidas, Levis, Timberland etc.). 


Understanding: 

During user understanding phase, you have gone through various stages like business requirement, profiles, personas, scenarios, task analysis etc. Now I would say don’t focus on what user is saying and what is written in the documents. You must observe his/her behavior. Whenever any event occurs to make a decision to buy a product should observe what stimulates users. It could be product features, brand name, product reviews, product presentation. You must record / document this event and consider it while building your upcoming product. If you correctly match it that would be a magnificent work. 


Inattention or Negligence: 

No matter for what reasons the users comes on your app/store? The probability of him/her going home is empty handed. It is because some or more reasons in below points: 

Less alternatives? 

Varieties of products got confused? 

Not an ease of use 

Presentation not good 

Not a welcoming behavior in store or rewards in web apps 


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Consideration: There are n number of reasons but no matter you fail to attract them. Below are few points, if you consider these you would surely start retaining or getting new users. 

1. Reduce your user groups to 1 or max by 2. 

Example: if you want to develop an app for specific to users like freshers who are looking for a job. Then your target user should be final year students or just pass out students (2 user group maximum). 

If you think of all school or college students or anyone who is looking for a Job, that makes the app useless for everyone. 

2. Load content (stressing user) wisely and accordingly. This plays very critical role for user’s cognitive process. 

Content load example: Let’s take an example of Car racing apps, this App must give cognitive stress to the user, like speed breakers, narrow and zigzag roads. If the road is straight and not having any speed breakers. The user might get bore and prefers to leave the App. 

Content reduce example:  Similarly, let’s take an example of Online shopping app, user decides to buy a product and is going through the checkout process. Here, the user is stressed & slowed to feed payment details like credit card number, CVV code, UPI details, Online banking details. If the App start showing unexpected content like other products, product comparisons, product reviews or something else which is not related to checkout process. The user will get distract and might decide to drop an idea of buying the product. 

3. Keep engaging user with new content frequently else they feel annoyed and leaves your app. 


Summary 

The way technology is changing every day, you have to make sure that your App is made for your critical users and not for the whole world. You need to filter out your users so much that you reach to a single user group or maximum of two and make decisions on them only. Don’t confuse users by showing multiple options, more the alternatives, response time of users will increase. Keep product alternatives to minimum in order to reduce user reaction time.


About Author 

UX Author Balram
Balram Sharma

UX Lead at HCL Technologies

More than 17 years of experience as an UI Development, UI Design and UX Analyst, worked with various project within the company in different domains. He is a motivational speaker and also rewarded in various occasions. He has been winner for club level swimming championship 2019.

LinkedIn   Email ID


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Ask the Experts - Talk with Ganesh Gaikwad (Director, User Experience)

Ask the Expert - UX Talks

Ask The Experts

A new milestone, UXness has initiated a step to connect with experts and understand their thoughts on certain topics. Directly connecting with experts and hearing from their own words, doesn't it sound interesting? Yes it is. In this series, please welcome our first UX Experts panel - Ganesh Gaikwad (Director, User Experience). 

Expert Bio

Ganesh Gaikwad
Director User Experience 
Tata Consultancy Services 

Experienced Director Of User Experience with a demonstrated business impact in the IT products and services industry. Delivered software products and projects in multiple domains from concept to market. Loving hands-on design work and practicing design thinking. Holds Master of Design (M. Des.) in Product Design from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.  LinkedIn



 Usability Testing in pandemic & post pandemic world 

Q. You have a big team of designers working for multiple customers and projects, how this COVID situation has impacted the work? 

A. Lot of our projects were planned with onsite work components. Due to Covid19, people couldn't travel to customer locations and whoever was onsite, couldn't work at customer facilities. However, my organization facilitated the work from home to all employees at onsite and offshore locations. This helped ensuring uninterrupted delivery.


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Q. The volume of projects and customers are always high with your team, how do you manage and ensure the right set of methods are being followed for given project? 

A. We have one of the largest team of designers in India and abroad with people at every level. Such a large team indeed needs formal methods, guidelines, templates and resources that they can use. We had invested in developing such accelerators that help our team members to quickly start producing. Once lead designers define the approach, the activities are streamlined with the methods and templates standardised and refined over the time. That said, I must say that every project, every.


Q. What do you see as the role of technology in conducting Usability Testing and other remote research? Where do you think it is creating the biggest impact? 

A. Technology has been crucial in conducting testing and research since long. In the current situation, it has become even more pivotal to carry out the UX testing as well as formative research activities. New tools are being budgeted for remote co-working and those are certainly adding value in this situation.


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Q. Do you see any advantages and disadvantages of conducting Usability Testing remotely? 

A. I think the biggest advantage is going to be breadth of usability testing in terms of number of participants. Secondly, the budgets and timelines are perhaps going to be smaller as everyone by then is familiar to participate and conduct testing remotely. The usually very effective methods such as contextual inquiry and field visits are going to be used less. There are some projects where these are essential techniques. Formative user research may get limited due to the current situation.


Q. You might have faced the situation where the clients are not aware about design process ex. Usability Testing, in that case how do you create the awareness about that? 

A. Many customers do understand the value of design, it is then a matter of how effectively we can articulate. Walking them through case studies and demonstrating the process through a Proof of Concept helps. I feel it is a job of every designer to relate the design to business. Designing for the outcome by identifying the correct KPIs and how those KPI add to the RoI is essential. This helps people to understand the design as a whole and the process is then easy to communicate.


UX Quote by Ganesh

Responsive Web Design Guidelines: What It Is and How to Use It

 Before getting into the details of responsive web design guidelines, let’s have a short background introduction. The responsive web design, firstly put forward by Ethan Marcotte, is not just about the adaptiveness of screen resolution or the auto-scaling of pictures. Instead, it’s more like a new way of thinking where designers need to consider many factors, such as the device performance, Dom node number and the screen size, etc. Following are several responsive web design techniques for your reference.

How about responsive product design? 

The responsive design is out of the product design, which requires the engagement of product managers, interaction designers as well as engineers. It’s of necessity for us to break the traditional way of thinking in the design, shifting from the web to mobile applications. The first step is to build a clear information architecture, then get the design started on the smallest display of mobile devices with the abandon of interference so as to ensure the best experience of the core function.

Meanwhile, the participation of interaction designers should deal with the responsive design problems and the issue of how to make the module much smaller and flexible. They also need to confirm the design style and framework. For the developing engineers, their responsibility is to make the test of coding and programming on the basis of the completed project, taking full advantage of individual device’s characteristics and building frame structure.

What is Responsive Web Design



How does the interface design look like in the RWD? 

 Previously, most of the interface designs aim to the desktop products, and there will be one single size with fixed location of each module. But everything has changed in the responsive design. According to those responsive web design tutorials on the web, it proves that designers need to make multiple versions of design. A typical example is the module A which is shown in a black background in the width of 1024px is shown in a white background in the width of 768px.

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Does the traditional media query breakpoints still go popular? 

From the perspective of traditional design, it’s possible to change the page layout through Media Query. For instance, we can change the layout in a fixed width (that’s what we call breakpoint). The usual way of thinking is to set breakpoints in accordance with some devices, such as desktop, tablet and mobile phone. As a matter of fact, the media query breakpoint is unreliable as the screen size will continue changing with the development of technology.

But the responsive design shouldn’t be targeted only at some devices with certain sizes, and there needs an interval value during the design process, rather than a resolution corresponding to a device. Henceforth, it’s necessary to make correspondent settings according to the content need. For designers, they need to find a critical point – that is the value when the visual effects start failing to meet the aesthetic of people or the acquisition of content.

Responsive Web Design 

What are the differences between interaction design and RWD?

In the responsive design, it requires a comprehensive consideration about the way of interaction, which is one of the responsive web design key features. An excellent interaction designer should not only consider the habits of desktop users, but also must take the portable devices of different sizes into account. For instance, we’re used to using the floating layer on PC, but it cannot be used on some devices of small sizes. Also, some links of a small responsive area are not easy-to-operate by fingers.

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This requires designers to seek common ground while reserving differences. For example, they can decide whether to use floating layer, increase the operating area and keep unified or not, on the basis of screen size. To ease the process of design, we’d like to recommend a simple-yet-powerful prototyping tool – Mockplus. It enables rapid prototyping and highly-visualized interactions with the simple drag-and-drop option.
 Mobile first approach


In Conclusion

Above are the responsive web design guidelines for product design, interface design, media query breakpoints and interaction process. Hopefully, you can find it helpful, and you can also learn about the difference between responsive and adaptive design.




What is Mobile First Design? Why It's Important & How To Make It?

On the Mobile World Congress in 2010, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google put forward that designers should follow the “mobile first” rule in product design. What does “mobile first design” mean? Why is it important? How to make it? I’ll answer these 3 questions in the following part.

What is Mobile First Design?
To understand the concept of mobile first design better, you should know the two phrases below first.

1. Responsive Web Design (RWD)
Responsive web design is a web design method that enable web to fit to the screens of different devices automatically, displaying the content in a way that people feel comfortable. This greatly reduces users’ operations like panning, zooming and scrolling when browsing the web.
Know more about responsive design

Responsive Web Design Mobile First Design


2 “Progressive Advancement” & “Graceful Degradation”
These two concepts were put forward before responsive web design. In order to make web or application interface display reasonably on different devices, designers provide customized versions of product for different ends.

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Progressive Advancement means that when we design a product, first we build a version for relatively lower browser (like that on a mobile phone). This version includes the most basic functions & features. After that we tend to the advanced version for a tablet or PC, which is created by adding interactions, more complicated effects, etc. on the basic version for a better user experience.

“Graceful Degradation”, on the contrary, starts the product design from an advanced end like desktop and builds a version with well-rounded features at the beginning. Then designers make the product compatible to mobile ends by cutting some functions or contents.

Progressive Advancement has won the game for now as far as I can see. If UI/UX designers start a product design with its desktop version, they will inevitably want to make use of most of the advantages of the advanced end. For example, the hover effect which is supported by a cursor mouse; HD images & complex charts which can display normally only when there is a recent bandwidth. In this way the designers will make efforts to complete an amazing desktop version and only to find it can hardly be adopted on a mobile end unless they give up a lot of beautiful ideas. If so, the mobile end version will be more like an afterthought, an incomplete product which’s been watered down.

But if we take the mobile end product design as a starting point, under the restrictions like bandwidth, screen size and so on, designers will naturally seize the key points of a product, head for a lean & neat product with prioritized features. When the platform is expanded to a tablet or PC, designers are able to take advantages of the unique features of these advanced ends to strengthen the product step by step. This might be the main reason that progressive advancement strategy is widely used.

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You may ask, why do you spend so much time on explaining the two concepts? The answer is that “mobile first” is exactly a rule of “progressive advancement”.

"Mobile first", as the name suggests, means that we start the product design from the mobile end which has more restrictions, then expand its features to create a tablet or desktop version.

Mobile first design



Why "Mobile First" Principle Is So Important in Product Design?
Except for the victory of progressive advancement against graceful degradation as mentioned above, we have more tangible reasons to believe that mobile first principle is important in product design. That is, the exploding of mobile use.

1. Mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage in 2016.

Mobile internet usage Statistics



2. People have spent more and more time on internet from mobile ends.

Mobile Phone usage Statistics



3. Early in 2012, smart phone sales have overtaken PC sales.

Worldwide Smartphones statistics



The exploding of mobile ends urges designers to pay attention to the mobile end and follow the “mobile first” rule in product design.


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How to Practice “Mobile First” Rule in Product Design?
The key to mobile first principle is, in fact, a content-centered mind.

The following part will explain the advancement of a product from a mobile phone end to a PC end.
(The design tool used in the example below is Mockplus by Jongde software company. Mockplus is an easy-to-use PC/mobile application for fast wireframe & prototype building)

Let’s make an application about hotel booking. We first sort the content of the site by importance:
* Website name
* Hotel (Domestic Hotel, Foreign Hotel, Hour Room, Special Hotel)
* Time selector (check-in time, departure time)
* My Order
* Customer service
* Promotion & Advertising

Then we get a mobile end version like this:

Responsive Design of Hotel booking app


Hotel Booking App

Domestic, foreign hotels and time selectors are the most important content. They are located on the most prominent part of the interface.

By adding more features on the mobile version and enlarging the promotion & advertising displaying area we get a desktop version like this:
Ads & Promotion responsive design

In this way, designers are able to creating a product for multiple ends in a smooth and efficient way instead of ruthlessly removing those good features to get an afterthought.

In short, the "mobile first" principle has an important role in product design. On the one hand, it helps to save product design time and improve designers’ productivity. On the other hand, it forces designers to pay more attention on the content of a product, which helps them to created neat and practical designs. However, as smartphones become more and more powerful, the mobile end might no longer be considered as “lower ends" in the near future, so the "move first" may not be an everlasting topic. But for now, its place in product design cannot be ignored.

About Author
Yuting Liu
liuyuting994@gmail.com


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How to design a good logo?


There are many ways to design a good logo, but we are sharing some important points which will be helpful in designing logos.
First let understand what is logo?

In simple terms logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark and icon. 
“Justcreative.com”



1. Start with design brief & research?

After getting the brief by preparing questionnaire or interview with client always start with research.
- Get the full information about the companies’ history.
- Understand the companies name and type of product they are producing.
- What is their mission and vision?
- Who are the competitors of the company?
- What is their current market position?
- What is the current trend in the market related to design?
- Always ask the constraints to the client related to color because some clients have their establish color in the market.
- Know each and every detail which is required to design a good logo.


Logo design research


The benefit of the research is that you will get clear picture what is the expectation of client also it will help in designing the appropriate logo design according to market and competitor.


2. Sketch

Well it will be great if anyone is following a design process but can move ahead to the Sketch part because it is one of the important part in it. Start conceptualizing the ideas on paper before moving to the computer because once you will put all the thoughts on the paper then it will be easy to choose the few and finalize concepts for the digital designing process.
    

Logo design sketching



3. Choose the right Color

Always try to get the right color for the logo because different color has different meanings, communicate ideas and it affects organization/product image in the market. Also keep in mind that your logo should also function in gray-scale in worst situation.
     

Logo design choosing right color

4. Keep logo simple

While designing logo try to keep it simple because human mind scan & remember simple things easier and longer. As you can see flat design is a best example for it they have reduced the clutterness and removed the unwanted elements in the design. Same logic works in the logo design also. A simple logo is always memorable.
  

Keep logo simple


5. Logo should be versatile

Logo should be versatile because it is used in different places and in different collateral so it should work across variety of medium and application.

Logo should be versatile Apple logo

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6. Logo should be unique

Logo should be unique in that way that it should stand out in the crowd and the market. For example apple logo without byte has no meaning it is that byte which makes it unique.


Logo should be unique Apple Logo




7. Logo should be scalable

Logo should be scalable for that always start making designing in vector format because it is always scalable. Logo must be scalable and effective in inch sizes. 


Logo should be scalable Nike Logo


8. Better to have your handmade font for logo

It will be great if you made custom typeface/font for logo because if you are going with available fonts in the market then it will not be unique more once it is discovered by other people. So always try to make custom handmade fonts.
   

Font for Logo design



9. Learn from other’s logo success

Always look in to other works and learn from their successful logo story. Thousands of great successful logo case studies are available online read it to understand their process and their thinking what techniques they used to make a good logo.


Shell logo timeline


10. Learn the software

Well if you are a graphic designer then it is expected that knows that software which is required for logo designing if not then start learning software from today itself. It hardly takes a month to mastering it. Illustrator and Coraldraw are the main software which is used by most of the designer and lots of tutorials are available online. But always keep in mind with brainstorming or idea jumping on the software is not going to help you.

Logo design tools, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw


Author: Shivin Mittal@MittalShivin)



Benefits of using Chatbots - UX perspective


Benefits of Chatbots

What is a Chatbot

A chatbot (also known as a talkbot, chatterbot, Bot, chatterbox, Artificial Conversational Entity) is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods. Wiki

A chatbot is a service, powered by rules and sometimes artificial intelligence that you interact with via a chat interface. The service could be any number of things, ranging from functional to fun, and it could live in any major chat product (Facebook Messenger, Slack, Telegram, Text Messages, etc.). – Chatbotsmagazine 

At the moment, chat bots are basically replacing individual apps. Rather than closing Facebook Messenger and opening Uber, you can simply message Uber and ask for a ride.

Benefits of Chatbots

1. No UI approach
Chatbots are minimalist and simplistic in nature. With respect to UI components Chatbots are having simple chat box and very less UI components. In apps or websites you can find some persistent UI components which keeps grabbing your attention but in case of Chatbot very less UI components make users focused on topic.

2. Information is prime factor
Users come to platform with some motivation and intention and a system which fulfills user’s intention smoothly wins users heart. In chatbot, there is no such page to page navigation, no fancy UI components only users intentions come in form of text (message) and it is getting answered in form of response. In chatbot information is king.

3. Less distraction
Due to less UI, contextual information and one story (response) at a time to focus makes Chatbots less distractive instead of any app/website.

4. Personalized behavior
It is a key advantage of using chatbot, it can behave differently according to different users. With the help of intelligence and NPL it can identify ‘New users, savvy users etc.’ and provide responses according to context.  

5. Goal oriented platform
A well designed and intelligent chatbot gives you feeling of master. You do not need to find any option in big menus, you do not need to search information in different pages, all you need to do is just text it and bot will offer you. Your goals are prime important and you directly need to tell your goal and it will respond in efficient manner.

6. Human touch
Chatbot brings experience of human touch, which gives satisfaction, increases trust and make interaction lively. You cannot feel that you are interacting with a bot if it is well developed.

7. Platform independent design
Chatbots can run irrespective of platforms, you do need to think about android or iOS, web etc.

8. Brings delight in responses
A well designed chatbot always bring delight feeling via responses. In Chatbots responses are contextual, personalized and crafted with human touch which brings value and liveliness in interaction.

9. Better understanding of user behavior
If you want to understand behavior of your users then Chatbots are a great option. It can record all the responses and interactions of users, which can be analyzed in more effective manner.

Author

Abhishek Jain
User Experience Designer & Co-founder of UXness

The Art of Meaningful UX Design

Marketers, Consumer Product developers & Sales Communities would agree that getting your customers’ captive attention and being able to influence their behavior, or decision making is probably the hardest thing to achieve in today’s world. Experts in Content Marketing or Sales Communication have highlighted the importance of ‘engaging your customers effectively’ to move them along a ‘conversion funnel’.


But how does this ‘engagement’ actually happen? What contributes to a perceptible and desired change in customer behavior? What does it take to get customers talking about your product with delight? We all know that changing behavior is not trivial. Changing consumer behavior requires getting them to take actions they don’t usually take, or are not expected to make unless they modify the basis of how they act. When a customer tries a new product or service that really doesn’t amount to ‘changed behavior’ only because a consumer may routinely try different products. That small aberration in ‘behavior’ could easily be reversed, or could evolve into a new behavior where the customer is not loyal to any brand.

Consumers Hate Change

“People hate change. They love consistency,” notes Chris Nodder in his book Evil by Design. “The posh name for this is ‘status quo bias’: the tendency to like things to stay relatively the same, and to perceive any change from the current situation as a loss. ‘Loss aversion’ leads people to overestimate potential losses from a change and underestimate the potential gains. They also tend to overvalue their current situation (the endowment effect).”
This is where Strategic Customer Experience can play a big role. Strategic Customer Experience combines knowledge from various disciplines such as Consumer Psychology, Cognitive Science, Data Analytics, Ergonomics etc to come up with the most optimized way to influence the customer choices for a given situation. Also in the recent years there have been a few postulations about ‘Experiential Models’ that result into sustained engagement and habit formation. But the most important means to achieve a real behavior change remains ‘positive emotion’ or ‘delight’ that can turn a customer into a promoter of a product by recommending it or talking about it to others.
Customer Delight creates a ‘talking point’. The power of word of mouth (and ‘word of mouse’!) is getting stronger. However, people only talk about brilliant stuff and weak stuff – they don’t tend to talk about ‘ok stuff’! The challenge therefore is to do things that gets people talking (positively!) and that’s what ‘customer delight’ is all about!

How Consumer Delight Takes Place

There are few distinct patterns in how this ‘delight’ takes place in customers’ minds. But they primarily arise out of a situation, a particular point in their overall customer journey (e.g. purchase, upgrade or evaluation etc.) when they are in an emotionally vulnerable position.
For example, imagine this scenario. A customer needs to cancel a flight booking, but it will incur a steep penalty since there is no cancellation window left. This induces anxiety. However, there is an unexpected resolution. The airline company informs the customer that the refund amount has been transferred to a wallet, and can be used for a booking in the future. As a result, the customer is relieved and raves about their experience on social media.

Nir Eyal, author of the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, hypothesizes that a product should be designed to facilitate a user’s need, but ultimately alleviate a symptom of a problem they have. Doing so will cause a product to be habit-forming. Habits can be good for users, and in turn good for business, because they:
·         Create higher customer lifetime value
·         Offer greater pricing flexibility
·         Supercharge growth
·         Increase loyalty



BJ Fogg, director, research and design at Stanford University where he founded the Persuasive Technology Lab, has a model showing the three elements required for any effective behavior change: Motivation, Triggers and Ability.

An integrated customer experience process within a successful customer focused organization should do all three well. Firstly, it should know when the customers are at an emotional high or low point (both could be substantial) and what behaviors do they exhibit that betray a problem or a root cause. Secondly, a sound design process takes in all the data and lays out an experience designed to provide effective triggers - ‘Call to Actions’ that communicate an outcome that would be ‘acceptable’ and ‘beneficial’ to them. Sometimes this process could be staggered. The real benefit due to the action that was taken may realize a bit late but none the less it acts as a reward and the expectation of the reward sustains the ‘engagement’. A reward that might get customers interested to invest more.

How Design Can ‘Hook’ Consumers

Eyal’s diagram for an approach called ‘Hook’, is an experience that connects the customer’s problem to a solution that intends to change a specific behavior.
But there are important differences in their approach. Fogg’s behavioral model applies equally well to actions you want to motivate, but also actions you want to avoid encouraging. Eyal focuses on just one of these four quadrants—those actions that you want to turn into habits, and habits to addiction. Ubiquitous access to the web, mobile devices encroaching our personal spaces and transferring greater amounts of personal data at faster speeds than ever before, has created a more addictive world.



Addictions are always dangerous, and they harm the user. However, habits are different. We have good habits and we have bad habits. I believe that we’re on the precipice of an age where designers can help their users create healthy habits through the technologies they use. - Nir Eyal
This is where the ‘Delight’ that results into a ‘Positive Emotion’ becomes important. Positive emotion can either reinforce or deter users from a specific behavior that results in a mutually beneficial consequence. Most ‘Customer Experience’ design efforts focus on providing an intuitive ability to perform a task well to the target customers. However, this approach takes a narrow view of the client’s real world that comprises of many adjacent emotions, attitudes, behaviors, values and belief systems.
Providing delight in a Customer Journey requires understanding multiple dimensions of the context and scenario in designing an experience that generates positive emotions at different points. Jared Spool in his article Pleasure, Flow, and Meaning - 3 Approaches to Designing for Delight, covers this in some details. Overall two principal methods differ based on how an organization plans to create a ‘space’ in the minds of its customers who are constantly enticed by the competitors with similar or better propositions:

Intentional Delight through Micro-interaction Design

Removing an obvious or known pain in the customers’ journey or making a complex task seemingly easier, are some ways to provide ‘intentional Delight’. Some companies who do it well also keep in mind that the ‘prize’ has to be ‘big’ for the intended return or outcome to be significant. Let’s look at an example. MailChimp, is an ideal balance of usefulness and delight. It fulfills a fairly technical niche, Managing Mass Mailer Campaigns, one so practical it could theoretically survive with a barebones interface. What makes MailChimp thrive is its smooth functionality wrapped in cheeky humor and visually friendly design. MailChimp transforms a dry task into an inviting experience.

Combining fun cartoons with tongue-in-cheek messages like “This is your moment of glory,” MailChimp softens the nervousness of sending your first email campaign. The actions and reactions of the interface feel less like an email marketing app and more like an empathetic instructor that understands you.
The humor and mascot are all part of the surface layer of delight. But when we dive deeper, we see that the conversational feedback and effortless task flow helps MailChimp connect with users on a more intangible level. The product instructs, entertains, and facilitates. As a result, even the most novice email marketer feels like a pro—and that’s a truly unforgettable experience.
Bottom line: never underestimate the “little things”. Micro-interactions are just not clever ways to keep the customer in good humor. They are ‘contained product moments’. Micro-interactions model can be categorized into triggers, rules, feedback, loops & modes. Triggers could be manual or system generated. Nest shows you the temperature when you approach the device; Instapaper app offers you a rotation lock if you accidentally rotate your device.
The good example of Rules is setting smart defaults with something you already know about the user. Waze suggests driving routes based on user behavior. Feedback is what helps users learn the Rules. The Temple Run game suggests ways to avoid falling and getting eaten up by the chasing beast.
Loops & modes provide a dimension (time, space etc.) of things over time. Spotify fades text for songs that have been added a long time ago.

Deeper Delight Through Meaning Making

The phrase ‘meaningful experience’ has been widely used within the digital industry, however it is often only mentioned in relation to usability and artificial delight. Nathan Shedroff, one of the pioneers of experience design, describes it as “one that reaches beyond the person’s functional, emotional and identity needs. It answers the key question of ‘Does this fit into my world?’ or conversely ‘Can this be my world?’ And if businesses focus on the meaning, and work from the centre out, the questions about price, performance, triggers and design decisions would sort out themselves”. The deeper you anchor your brand into the user’s life, the more sustainable relationship you will have and this is where the future of marketing or commercial success lies.
Products and services that build deeper connections with customers are the result of a design process infused with emotion.
The problem is that linear, or more specifically process oriented cultures like ours, the product development is viewed from a ‘prioritization’ model, where we start at the bottom and work our way up. Emotion is prioritized last, even though we may know it matters most.
Emotion is added as a superficial layer, or worse, the emotional element gets pushed to a later release to provide a branding make over. This approach makes delivering deeper level engagement hard because it separates the ‘emotional needs’ from the functional benefits of the product and therefore fails to create any ‘meaning’.
If you want to delight your customers, the real challenge is to be empathetic—put yourself in their shoes—and pay tremendous attention to the details at every step of the consumer’s journey. From the introductory communications, to the website, in the discovery/trial experience and on through the packaging, the purchase flow, and the post-sale interaction, messaging tone and voice, your view must be holistic. The insight, coming out of a deep empathy, leads you to discover the purpose, the ‘Why’ rather than ‘What’ in a product development ideation.
In his book, The Invisible Computer, Donald A. Norman notes: “I don’t want to use a computer. I don’t want to do word processing. I want to write a letter, or find out what the weather will be, or pay a bill, or play a game. I don’t want to use a computer, I want to accomplish something. I want to do something meaningful to me.”
To understand this better, we could look at some existing examples around us. And comparing two products from a similar domain makes it even more pronounced. A simple home page comparison of two car ride providers looks distinctly different. It leaves no doubt in our mind why touching emotions and creating ‘meaning’ makes such a big difference.
In the first example below, the content just functionally states about chauffeur driven transport, the service or offering.
The latter however almost self explains how it connects with its customers instantly. The content focuses on communicating the real reason why customers look for a ride. It successfully conveys that an Uber ride relieves them of driving anxiety and lets them focus on what they plan to accomplish in the day. It puts the pain of driving before an important business meeting right at the center of the experience strategy.

So then how exactly do we frame this in our design process that evokes positive emotion or delight? The first step towards this is to really know who your customers or users are, and what really matters to them, what pain they are facing and most importantly what is the purpose in their lives that a product can fit in. This exercise alone produces deep insights and provide us a way to reframe the product offering or a proposed solution differently and allow us to identify the ‘emotional needs’ a customer needs to fulfill and how the ‘solution’ would fit in it the best way possible. What helps us drive towards an iterative definition of the ‘problem’ comes from these insights and a deep and full understanding of what people ‘say’, ‘do’ and ‘feel’. Asking questions and observation of behavior go hand in hand.
After customer immersion or context studies are completed for an identified customer segment for a specific value proposition. The data is used to model the customer’s context and clearly articulate the problem that needs a ‘solution’. This ideally should happen during the early exploration-conceptualization phase of the development process. A design tool called an ‘Empathy Map’ [image above] is used here that help designers and product owners identify unarticulated emotional nuances around a problem area. This discovery is then expressed in a clear problem statement that forms the basis of solution ideation process.
In the design process, the element of emotion needs to be addressed in a careful and systematic way. The steps below could be one way of successfully capturing emotion and working with it to a proposition of ‘delight’:
1.   Identify ‘Own’able moments: Detail analysis of the customer journey reveals several points when the customer is at an emotionally vulnerable point. He could be frustrated or anxious, elated or feeling in control. These moments need to be understood deeply. The overall design of the proposed experience should address these and create a ‘meaningful’ language around them.
2.   Convey the response to the emotions in appropriate place and time: An experience that responds to the customers emotionally can do it in three ways:
·         Visceral: Appearance, Visual language, Tone or Voice
·         Behavioral: How it works, behaves, or responds
·         Reflective: How it is interpreted or understood
3.   Deliver Meaning as an Outcome: ‘Meaning’ in this context is a purpose fulfilled or an aspiration actualized. It is not a literal interaction metaphor. So it is better that we design for it and not with it. Meaning is more powerful than emotions and it transcends value.

The process of ‘Meaning Making’ through creating delight driven design intervention is tedious, iterative and should be based on continuous experimentation. But even if you are not in a position to do long gestation before the all important ‘product launch’, think of staggering it as several ‘learning launches’ or early Alpha with a limited group of potential users. And work with the learning to move forward. Most organizations lose patience right at this spot for various reasons. But the key point is to sustain thru the learning cycles and improve. To really arrive in a ‘place’ where the outcome of the design process elevates the product positioning in a way that makes it click with the users emotionally and at the same time opens doors to significantly higher engagement or behavior change, requires thorough awareness, commitment and passion.

This article originally appeared on Toptal.