Product design for businesses: Expectation v/s Reality.

Product design for businesses: Expectation v/s Reality.

There are always quite great expectations, but in reality, the process to design a product most times doesn't go that smoothly. 

Before investing time and resources into product design and development, you need to be absolutely prepared for bumps and disappointments. You do this by strategic planning, design, focused development, etc.

Of course, the expectation for the final product is resounding success, but at the various stages of design and development, it’s a little different, our expectations don’t always turn out to be reality.

Remember your childhood dreams and fantasies of becoming an astronaut? Or a rock star? 

There were bumps and disappointment along the way and it probably didn’t turn out the way you expected right? It’s normal. Reality is often a far cry from our expectations.

In this blog, we will take a good look at some of the mistakes you make regarding your expectations vs what we actually have in reality when it comes to designing and developing digital products. 

Expectations vs Reality in the product design and development process

  • Human beings: Our thinking vs Our Actual thinking.
  • Information we provide vs Information user needs.
  • Innovation vs What works.
  • Time you think users have vs Time they actually have.
  • Technologically advanced users vs Technologically advancing users.

To start with, 

  • Human beings: Our thinking vs Our Actual thinking. 

As Dale Carnegie states,

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”

By nature, human beings are first and foremost emotional creatures. We are motivated and activated by emotions. Emotions are the drivers of our behaviors as they automatically tell us what is important or unimportant. 

As a business owner looking to design and develop products that continually resonate with people and always meet people at the point of their needs, you first and foremost have to accept the fact that human behavior is the way it is and not the way you want it to be. 

Don’t design products that are rigid, operate one way, or products based on the situation of human thinking at a particular point in time. Instead, design products that mirror our thinking model, products that are flexible yet easy to use.

  • Information we provide vs Information user needs.

We know you have a whole lot of information to dish out, and you probably think or expect users to be excited about the multitude of information you have on your user interface, well it’s actually not the case with modern-day users. The Internet today is filled with too much information, a whole lot of websites, blogs, social media channels, products, applications, etc. this has made the modern-day user care less about quantity but immediate quality.

Reality Check: Check out these stats for average time spent on a page per industry, Based on data from 20 billion user sessions. (Contentsquare, 2021)

From the stat, we can see that the average time a user spends on a page irrespective of the industry or business is 52 secs with B2B websites having the highest Average Time On Page of around 82 seconds.

This stat is an indication that you have an average of 52 secs to meet your user’s needs with your product.

Knowing this reality, you should therefore care more about the user's time and supply them with the important information only. Information that immediately meets them at their point of need when they use your product so they don’t have lots of users that bounce off.

For that, you need to know who your core user is and stay true and focused on him.

  • Innovation vs what works.

When you explore innovation, you probably expect all your users to love the fact that there’s maybe a new version of your product with new features and functionality, but It doesn’t always work that way.

When it comes to reality, not everyone cares about the new and revolutionary, most don’t need a new “innovative” one, they just need one that does the job perfectly. 

So If you already have a product design that works just fine and does the job, why redesign or reinvent it?

Users would rather stick to the old, day after day: as long as it continuously works. This to them is a predictable and comforting routine.

Don’t try to be creative with the UI of your products all the time, in the end, you leave our users more confused than before.

  • Time you think users have vs Time they actually have.

With all the content on the Internet, daily tasks, and other things happening in the world, there’s not enough time for a user to focus all their time and effort on small details that don’t matter to them.

This is an important thing to keep in mind when you are thinking about adding that extra layer of complexity to your product. That extra delight that nobody is going to notice. Rather than focusing on actually being great at doing one thing.

Life is a much more stressful and demanding environment than an app’s delights and subtle effects.

For most people, it is not essential to know or understand how your product works. Not because they are not intelligent, but merely because they do not care. So once they nail down the use of your product, they will rarely switch to something else.

  • Technologically advanced users vs Technologically advancing users.

We expect that because we are in the age of the Internet and other gadgets, somehow human behaviour changed. But we forget that the human mind changes slowly, and the knowledge you have about human behaviour will not go old for at least 50 years or so.

As J. Nielsen states,

"The human brain’s capacity doesn’t change from one year to the next, so the insights from studying human behaviour have a very long shelf life. What was difficult for users twenty years ago continues to be difficult today."

Technology changes rapidly, and people and culture change slowly. Or as the French put it — the more things change, the more they are the same. And of course, evolutionary change is always taking place, but human evolutionary change is measured in thousands of years. For example, Don Norman published his famous book "The Design for Everyday Things" in 1988 and republished it in 2014.

Even though the principles remained the same, the only thing that changed was technology. We still struggle with how many features to add or understand customers, and we believe we will keep struggling with that. Until one day, probably.

To wrap it up, 

All in all, the objective during your product design and development process should be to have a human-centered product design. That is ensuring that the product meets your user’s needs, the final product is understandable and usable, it effectively performs all functions it was designed for, and that the experience all around is great.

With all this in place, you’re sure to have a product that meets your business goals.

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