Delighting the end user: Need for ‘User Experience’ focussed product development

Over a period of years in a challenging and competitive product market, delighting end user has turned out to be one of the primary criteria that decides the success and adoption of any product or service. Having a strong base of ‘Happy Customers’ doesn’t really help to fly the business to heights, but if you have a set of ‘Delighted Customers’, leave the rest to them and they will act to spread awareness and increase the acceptance of your product. So the key is to delight your customers, but how?

Delighting a customer is built on the strong pillars of User Experience (UX). The core reason why a person turns loyal to a brand depends on the overall experience offered by the brand which cannot be replaced by any competitor. In this age of cut-throat competition, without a well-knit User Experience Strategy and execution, it is not just hard but impossible for any business to sustain and grow in the long run. User Experience designing is a mind-set, it’s about balancing business objectives with customer satisfaction. This is where thinking in the shoes of end customer really helps in product development. If you deliver an experience that’s too far from what they are comfortable with, they will walk away. You can go for the latest technologies and inculcate the best designing techniques to make your product user friendly, but make sure your customers as well as prospects are mature enough to appreciate and accommodate the new changes which you are bringing in.

Many times organizations go for revamping the product when they identify that their products do not offer the best in experience. But many consider revamping as redesigning the interface or looks. But that’s just the skin and problem may be deep rooted. UX redesigning should not be limited to changing the skin of your product, but should go through deeper rigorous analysis to pull out the core structures on which the product is built and which needs a change. Such a deep rooted revamping can help your product jump from being considered as just useful to desirable. If you know and listen to your customers, you always have an upper hand among competitors in designing and developing a desirable product. Every design step should also consider the business constrains as well so that product is launched at the best time by blending the experience designs with time to market considerations.

User Experience designing steps does not follow hard and fast rules and that is where reviews from industry experts really help. These reviews helps your product to get tested up-front and to identify possible usability issues. Before putting any of the review feedbacks to action, you need to weigh them comparing with the core product strategy and User Experience goal which you had set initially. This will ensure that these reviews don’t side-line your experience designing and take you back to ground zero where focus is only on usability. User Experience designing involves huge collaboration efforts between different teams within an organization. Individual goals of these teams needs to get aligned with the overall goal of the product to ensure that the collaborative effort is contributing to product experience development. And the best book to pick user experience ideas is nature itself, a close examining of the beautiful nature teaches us how every minute object and their interactions are interwoven to offer the best experience to living beings. Get the right people to strategize, plan and execute the right User Experience innovations into your product. Keep watching the user space, learn and take feedback from existing users, anticipate the changes happening in the industry and user groups. Connect all of these together to arrive at the best ideas to expand your customer base by offering products and services that stand apart from the crowd and delivers the best User Experience there by delighting your end users.

I happened to hear about PDMA- India from Mr. Venkadesh Narayanan and was happy to know about the opportunity to contribute articles on product development. I come from a background where my professional experience gave me opportunity to be part of multiple projects across domains where I worked on product development and innovation.