For years now we have built systems and web pages from the bottom up, never asking what is important for the people that use these applications. The solution involved a reliable and functional system, but pleasure and enjoyment was never apart of this equation.
The world has changed and we are trying to reform the prior world of systematic digital solutions. Emotional and well-designed solutions are the success factors in order to gain a leading market share in your industry or to just be the best at what you do.
Take banking for example
In the past, banks used a huge chunk of money to hire the right people and open ¨shops¨ in several places. They provided personal service to there clients with physical contact and warm faces. So what happened to the online bank?
What happened to creating an online welcoming place where people enjoy there banking experience and receive personal attention?
The traditional way of designing an online bank was to make the services accessible online without thinking about the user experience. This translated into getting the system up as fast as possible. It should be secure and functional. There was zero interest in making this system enjoyable.
Times have changed
There are many factors involved when people choose their bank. Good rates, low costs and local offices have been some of the major influential factors. However the visual identity and online/mobile experience is a growing factor that people care about. When customers see that there product or service cares about them, they react. They show loyalty. Apple and Starbucks are great examples that have created a visual and emotional connection to there clients where every detail counts.
So how do we get there
A good design and technical team is essential. We are not talking about one Interaction Designer that makes some wireframes and then passes it on to the programmers.
We are talking about a team that builds off each other and works closely with the client and organization. This team consists of at least one Interaction Designer, a Graphic Designer, one or several Programmers and a Copywriter.
The innovation happens when this team works closely together with the client and are given the freedom to transform an existing product into what it should be. The interaction designer works with the emotional and user experience aspects. The graphic designer makes the product visually appealing. The programmers work closey with the designers and discuss alternative solutions to the problem. The copywriter creates meaningful and personal communication that shapes the user experience.
The wildfire effect
This is a phenomenon that happens when the client sees change. They suddenly see how their products can be and become proud owners of innovation and design. Pride and happiness spreads like wildfire in an organization. They start to understand the importance of good design and creating digital emotional experiences for their customers.
Online services become the new form for advertising. If your product or service is that good, then word of mouth is your number one source for gaining new customers. The amount of money that was invested in your product has now created a return on investment and the amount of money needed in advertising is reduced.
Good things happen when we are able to turn a systematic rigid application into a welcoming and delightful user experience. It all starts when we switch our focus to the people using the product and create a
top-down strategy where design and communication are equally important as technical functionality.