There's an old marketing phrase: "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." While this phrase should have been coined by a chef, it actually originated during the "go-go" years of the 1980s by stockbrokers. They learned that cold-calling prospects didn't really want to know all the facts about a company (the steak), they wanted to know how much money this stock would make for them (the sizzle). They defined and nailed the User Experience-UX long before that term came into common use.
You Have to Understand Human Nature
People generally don't care how something works. They do care about how this product will fulfill a need that they have. Sometimes that need is obvious, but more often it's not.
The purpose of a car is to get from point A to point B, but that's not what sells. It's all about the experience that the car will provide, whether it's the romance hinted at by gorgeous models, the successful bad boy image gained by owning an expensive sports car or the ability to pack up an SUV and take the family camping. Human nature is unchanged, whether it's online, on the phone or at the mall.
Traditional UX Design
Designers have traditionally been focused on a product's features. How does it look and how will the user interact with it. That's only scratching the surface of the user experience. The features are, when all is said and done, the sizzle. No matter how enticing they may be, the customer is actually buying the steak. The product as a whole needs to offer the solution to the problem.
The product, or website, is more than an accumulation of features. Product thinking is a relatively new buzz term that refers to thinking about a website as whole. The Web Product User Experience (UX) Denver focuses upon why the end user needs the product. Features are essential and add to the User Experience-UX, but are not the product or the be-all and end-all of web design.
Product thinking means that the designer needs to find the answers to some specific questions. The true answers to these questions may not be what first seems obvious. These answers should make it very clear which features will be invaluable to customers.
- Why: What is the exact problem that the consumer has and that this product will solve?
- Who: Who is the target demographic that actually uses this product?
- How: How will a product that solves this problem be designed?
- Goals: What do we want to achieve?
- Features: What features must be included?
Product Thinking Saves Time, Work and Money
It's common for designers to receive requests to add new features. People are always coming up for new ideas to add this or change that. The end result can be a clunky, over-built product that ultimately satisfies no one.
Keeping a product lean is in everyone's best interests. Asking a few questions about requested changes before creating new wireframes or layouts can save a lot of time - and time is money, as everyone knows. It's also much easier to say "no" to a requested change when you have the facts to support the denial.
- Does this change really fit into the product?
- Does this change actually solve a real user problem?
- Find out if the end user really wants or needs this feature before adding it in.
Product thinking leads designers to build the features that end users really want and need. Solutions are offered for the real problems that people have. The designer becomes empowered to make the right decisions. Ultimately, this ends up with successful products that make money. This is why Denver Web Product User Experience (UX) is a significant component of a successful and profitable website.