Customers view brands as a unified entity, and they expect that brand’s value to be delivered across all channels with an equal degree of integrity…
…The unifying principles that guide these teams should center around what customers actually need, not what new technologies we want to throw at them.
In her article for UX Magazine, “Guiding Principles for UX Designers,” Hess outlines 20 guiding principles that pave the way for frictionless engagement.
I’ll share 11 now and more later in the series…
- Stay out of people’s way…provide an efficient experience.
- Create a visual hierarchy that matches people’s needs.
- Limit distractions and choices.
- Provide strong information scent.
- Provide signposts and cues.
- Provide context.
- Use constraints appropriately.
- Make actions reversible.
- Provide feedback during the experience…design is not a monologue, it’s a conversation.
- Make a good first impression.
- Be emotional.
Great presentation by Aarron Walter. Also, check out this book Designing for Emotion, part of the A Book Apart series.
When it comes to design, I often find that we’re so focused on creating functional interfaces and following the UI rulebook that we forget about connecting with our users on a more personal level.
When we solely focus on functional aspects of interfaces, we primarily focus on utilitarian goals. For instance, web services such as LinkedIn are utilitarian when it comes to creating a profile. The profile categories are extensive, but generic. Because of this, users are required to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to complete their profile and make it appear unique. LinkedIn attempts to ease this process by introducing the “Improve Profile” feature which gives their users tips (e.g.: showcase your 1-3 top accomplishments or describe your position at this company).
Yes, LinkedIn’s interface works and is easy to understand on a certain level. However, it may be overwhelming for users because of its utilitarian interface. The interface is impersonal, overwhelming, and boring. Because users are not emotionally invested in the experience, it’s difficult for them to complete or return to their profile.
Facebook on the other hand is taking a unique approach. The article Designers Behind Facebook Timeline described how the company’s designers wanted to create an emotional experience for their users. The theme for designing the timeline was based on the feeling of telling someone a life story and remembering one’s own life. For instance, users can add a “life event” to a timeline, which drills down to various personal categories (e.g.: new job, retirement, new relationship, new child, new pet, etc). The common approach would have been to ask users what happened in a particular year.
By creating an emotional experience, users are more likely to be engaged and invested in what they’re doing because the content suddenly becomes relevant to them.
A good read by Joshua Johnson on what makes Pinterest different from other social bookmarking sites.
Unlike their competitors, Pinterest was able to identify what users wanted and where they struggled. By understanding their users, Pinterest created a powerful experience that engaged users in a different way.
As Joshua mentioned, Pinterest identified that:
It’s incredible to understand what makes Pinterest successful from a design perspective. After all, they were not the first company to introduce the concept of social bookmarking.