Designing User Experience

Recently, Institute of Product Leadership hosted an Industry Connect Event at CMR University, Bangalore, where Anjali Desai, Director, User Experience Design, Intuit, USA shared her thoughts on designing “User Experience” for global audience.

Here are the four takeaways from the Industry Connect session :

"Design is not a fine art but it is a deep thinking.”

Leadership and design:

• Be Aware: You need to be aware who you are as a company as well as a design team, that awareness is very critical. You need to ask who you are delivering your design to. Why you are designing it or creating it, are you solving one user’s problem or is it a problem of many or is it something which nobody recognizes it as a problem? • Be Authentic: You need to be authentic and know how to connect with your user. If you can emotionally connect your team to your users and help them grok how their efforts impact real people solving real problems, then they'll do fantastic work - your product will be great. • Be responsible: As a technology leader, you are responsible that your user should be successful in using that product. At the heart of your product's existence, it all boils down to making users successful. If they succeed, your product succeeds. If your users don't credit your product for their success, then your product's success will be transitory at best. • Be innovative: You need to understand the design as well as the technology and as a technology leader; you have to be innovative and stay updated with the design trends and not just the design but also on the technology part as you need to know the current cutting edge technologies.

Globalization is here to stay:

Globalization, for good or ill, is here to stay. But what is globalization? Globalization is an attempt to abolish barriers. In fact, globalization has been around longer than you might think. Globalization has made our world smaller. As the markets for products, services, labour, and capital increasingly integrate worldwide, we are witnessing the increasing economic, cultural, demographic, political, and environmental interdependence of different locations around the world. • Why globalization is important? You have to keep in mind the language, the market segment and the cultural values of the particular region, you are designing the product for. Networking technologies will play a key role in enabling connectivity to bring people from diverse geographies across the globe to work together, and that is really the essence of globalization. From a business perspective, globalization has two prime characteristics: first, it involves growing interdependency between countries and, second, it is multi-faceted with many different business aspects.

Consider Personalization and show sensitivity:

You have to be emotional to connect to your audience. Emotional bond is important not only with your team but you also need to understand what exactly user wants. You have to walk in their shoes and you have to put yourself through their experience so that you can deliver an optimal experience. Personalization can make it easier to handle technology. Apple was a pioneer in personalisation and in 1984 for the first time offered users the chance to adjust displays according to their own preferences. That’s why Apple is successful as it launches before user starts thinking what he needs. You need to do what your users do: You just cannot rely on books and perceive that you know everything about the product. You need to know your user’s journey. The way you connect with your team at human level to ensure they stay with you for long; similarly, you also need to connect with your users so that they stay loyal to your brand for long.

De-cluttering is important. Adhere to the principle of KISS (Keep it Super Simple)

Simple+elegant+delightful+purposeful= Design+ life Do not clutter your product. Your design mantra should be “Keep it super simple”. Simple designs are easier to understand, cheaper to make, less likely to fail, and easier to fix than complicated designs. There are many advantages the keeping of product simple....even if that means you have to strip off the bells and whistles. If you aren’t creating usable solutions, it will be harder to gain traction. Note: Anjali recommended “The soul of leadership by Deepak Chopra” and Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life by Stewart D. Friedman to those who wants to excel as leaders.

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