What makes someone love a product?
There might be a little feature that makes the user smile (internally). The user might be comparing the product to another product (that sucks) and make note of the improvements. The list of individual reasons can be long… to get to the point, there’s typically a combination of things.
When designing your product, how do you get your users to love it? There’s always outside circumstances you can’t control (e.g., someone launches a better product that’s similar to yours at the same time). However, there’s 6 things you can aim for to improve your chances of reaching product nirvana with an awesome UX.
You’re trying to create a beautiful, intuitive, efficient, usable, useful and desirable product (or experience).
Visual beauty alone won’t sell a product but it’s a hell of a start and a great first impression. Products with similar features… the pretty one will likely win out. Like it or not, people make judgements based on visual design online. Today, if you see two companies and one has a well designed HTML5 responsive website and the other is rocking the 2001 flash site. You automatically make judgements. One is a well run company and the other is outdated and lagging behind. Visual design matters.
I typically consider a design successful if someone can look at it for the first time and figure it out without explanation. When you design a product, make it intuitive…. and don’t make the user think about it. User testing can really help with this. No need to go crazy with it; a informal in-person test with a potential user can go a long way.
Most people will just attack clicks like they’re the devil, but that may not always be the case. In principle, is less clicks better than more clicks? Probably. However, I find many designers and product people touting the three click rule as gospel. Well folks… Jakob Nielsen himself has declared his own three click rule dead after years of user testing. Ok, enough about clicks for now. The point is the functions of your product should be as efficient as possible. Don’t make people work when they don’t have to.
Usability is often the hidden ingredients for exponential growth of your product. If you want more people to use it, that’s a lot of new users. Those users should be able to use and learn your product pretty quickly. You want someone to make your product part of their everyday life. If they can’t use it… they won’t. Otherwise, you’ll need to put in the work (and dollars) to onboard them. Not saying the concierge on-boarding is a bad thing but you’ll see much faster growth if you don’t need it.
So people can figure your product out, they know what it does… but is it something worth doing? This isn’t meant to be a moral judgment or anything. A fart app is meant to be amusing. The prankster downloading it probably finds it quite useful. Regardless, your design should offer the user some use they don’t currently have or an improvement on something they already do or have.
Ah yes… the almighty desire. The secret sauce. The magic of the best products and the best product creators. Steve Jobs had an incredible knack for creating things that people wanted. What gets you there? It’s likely a combination of the things above with psychological attacks (aka marketing). We’ll talk more about the psychological components of design in the future but for now, just know that your product should seduce your target user. They should want to use your product.
So remember, there isn’t necessarily a formula for cranking out products people love. However, if you intentionally work at these six things you can really improve your chances of creating an amazing product with an awesome UX.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and make something awesome!