Building a great user-experience means creating a flashy, impressive product, right?
Kevin Kearney, co-founder of experience design and strategy company Hard Candy Shell, says NO.
“Most people think they should come up with an idea, then work on features, then create a product,” says Kearney.
“Instead, you should think about what problem your product is solving.”
If you can’t answer that question easily, your product probably just isn’t that good.
Kearney encourages people to think about their product category in the past, present, and future. Look at what’s worked for others, what people are using now, and where the industry is going. Also make sure your product is designed for your users, not for you.
A lot of designers enjoy creating flashy products. But creating something snazzy isn’t necessarily good for user-experience. Think about sites like Craigslist and Facebook. They are clean, simple, and easy to navigate.
“People think things are cool that work,” Kearney says. “Sometimes, the right solution is something that’s so simple, it makes people wonder why they didn’t think of it first.”
He also stresses that designing and art are two entirely different things. “Design is not about aesthetics,” Kearney says. “If you want to create art, put it in a gallery.”
Another common mistake that can destroy user-experience: using cute, gimmicky interactions that don’t fit with the product. Kearney references an ABC.com iPad app with a rotating sphere of videos built in Flash. While it may be aesthetically pleasing, it isn’t an appropriate display for playing videos. Something that difficult will most likely frustrate users and deter them from using your product.
Kearney emphasises that a product interface should NOT be entertaining. “If people are noticing the design, you’re probably doing something wrong,” he says.
In summary, innovation is the reduction of complexity. Albert Einstein said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
Watch what people are actually doing with your product; don’t focus on what you want them to do. Their experience is your brand.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.