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Design, as the secret recipe for product success

Move over features, Usability and Ux design are now officially acknowledged as the differentiators of successful digital products.  Even an umpteenth attempt in an existing product domain can become highly successful if one were to place their bets on this to get it right.  The test?  User acceptance and virality. To hell with customer acquisition costs and conversion strategies…..

Design will become the mainstay for product success. Here are some of the drivers that could provide some clues:

1. An incisive analysis and focus on user journeys across interactions and actions that get a “job” done.  Don’t turn SOP’s into a user journey when creating a digital interface. Rather, a set of interactive features that help a user comply with an SOP in the background. Know where the user is, their demographics and calls to actions are key inputs.

2. It’s now a known myth that only gen x or y needs a playful interface.  Almost every human being reacts to a tool that is fun to use.  This is the place where enterprise apps are failing to make a mark by a big margin.

3. Make sure that the innovation tech behind interactivity is well validated and stable.  The ooh’s and aah’s of what is possible in tech is not necessarily a great reason for adoption, if it weren’t stable.  Sometimes, innovation needs a lot of other variables for it to deliver the true promise and intent.  The eco system in which a product needs to exist may not be ready for that yet.  Don’t do it, or set the right expectations.

4. Relative performance measures and insights are great motivators for people and make great notifiers as against alerts and mail reminders.  Analytics is not just a behind the doors tool.

5. Finally, one needs a completely new set of providers to create this differentiation. A combination of skills involving gaming, ui design, animation, front end technologies like the latest in Javascript, user experience designers can virtually turn a product idea into a radically different solution. One that intends to “talk” to the users rather than “ask” a user to do something.

Andrew Wilkinson’s blog on how they made this differentiation for the $ 2.8 Billion USD valued Slack, is a great pointer to what is possible with this radically new approach.

Posted by Mahendra Penumathsa on Sep 30