How to design a great product which delivers Wow!

Great Products are a result of a design process which understands that users should get two essential values out of a product.

1. An emotional value (“Wow! I love my iPhone”)
2. A utilitarian value (“A mobile phone…wow, now I can call my friends from anywhere!”).

These are linked so closely with each other that you just can’t have one, without having at least ‘One’ other one!

Now question comes how do you deliver the Emotional and Utilitarian value? Well there are three ways (Which again are related);

Aesthetics

The product looks good, is “fun” to interact with, has smooth transition, a “clean” layout, is symmetrical, feels “professional”, and has a “cool” factor associated with it, etc.

Functionality

It just does things I really value. For example, I value that I can scan my laptop for viruses, though I find it extremely hard how to do so, but I do value that I can do this!

Usability

The way functionality is delivered. Is it effective, efficient, satisfying, and simple?

Majority of the IT companies, and now even the mobile companies focus on the utilitarian value of a product, and the functionality of the product.

They are forced to sneak in as many ‘Functionality Feature’ in a release as they can; since this is the way ‘Success’ is measured for them.

Apple never re-invented the features of a Phone! They just made the experience beautiful!

On the other hand Samsung did the opposite…adding features [primarily of very less usage] will give them success in short run…but the way experience is delivered – it’s a Steve Baby!

I mean its tough for companies too, cut throat competition, a mindset, which puts more emphasis on ‘Features’ and less on ‘Experience’; the companies are forced to follow the path!

A great product delivers a user experience that combines aesthetics, functionality and usability to meet both the user’s emotional and utilitarian needs. So next question is

How do we do it?

I would call it a ‘Fiver’

Expertise – Have in house expertise, or call upon Expert!

Techniques – Use Appropriate techniques!

Leadership and Culture – Appreciate value of UX from business point of view!

Processes – Define processes!

Perspective – Apply principles and process in the broad perspective!

And You?

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An Effective Homepage…Basics, Objective, Purpose

As a general rule, your homepage will be the first encounter a visitor will have with your business. Great care, therefore, should be taken to design and structure your homepage so that readers will digest and act on your business message.

Let’s discuss the quality of a home page…




How to Achieve Predictability

Make it intuitive

It is critical to remember that predictability is about the ability of customers to foresee the future course of events as they interact with a company. It’s more than merely being consistent.

Some companies attempt to resolve this by educating customers about how their internal processes work. But this tactic is a poor fix because they’re just trying to get customers to think like them. The correct solution is to understand what customers expect and then align internal practices with that. When customers experience this, they often report that the experience felt “intuitive” and went exactly as they had hoped.

The best way to understand the predictability is to understand the Mental model of the customer. This mental model is something, which a customer expects your product to behave in a specific pattern. If you ever want to improve predictability you need to understand why customers call customer service or go online for help, as these are instances where their mental models don’t match the product or service model—in other words, they can not predict how the thing works.

Analyzing service calls or online forums and bringing the issues to the development team is one way to start putting predictability back into the user experience.

And I guess this is where DoCoMo has done a great job. They introduced the notion of one touch customer care and quite a bit intuitive plans.

Plantronics InstantMeeting does a great job in understanding the mental of consumer. Have a look at this amazing video

This is absolutely what most of the people suffer, and as their VP, GM Gunjan Bhow puts it: Its a one click solution to all your conference problems. For more on InstantMeeting please visit: http://instantmeeting.plantronics.com

Being Predictable: The First Essential Of A Customer Centric Business

Have you ever walked up to a door and grasped the doorknob expecting that familiar turn, click, and open, only to be startled when it did not operate as you expected? Recently a visitor to a hotel described how a closet in his room had a doorknob that looked like it should turn, but did not. Instead the knob was simply screwed in and the door held shut by a magnet. He described how that bothered him and that he never got used to it. Every time he went to use that door it bothered him. Its behavior was unpredictable, both in its lack of intuitiveness and its inconsistency with every other “door experience” he’d ever had.

Many customers are not satisfied with their service providers or with the products that they use because of a lack of predictability.

Many organizations large and small lose business as they fail to deliver a predictable experience to their customers. Common examples include inconsistent levels of knowledge among staff, unintuitive products, and poor management of customer expectations. Predictability is underrated.