Good Design, Great Strategy and the Wow Factor

March 18, 2016

Wow! It’s what we want to hear when users start using any new piece of software. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen often. That’s all about to change because of two important trends: Experience Design or XD – the practice of focusing on the quality of the user experience, and XD Enabled Software – which empowers non-technical people to create the “wow factor” end users crave. McKinsey’s recent podcast, The Power of Design Thinking, has important observations for anyone implementing new systems.

“Good Design is Good Business”

A former CEO of IBM insightfully stated the intrinsic value of getting design right. When implementing new software, we tend to focus on functionality and often ignore the overall experience. We all live in fear of not having all the features. Well, ask yourself, “What happens if you have all the features, but nobody likes the experience?”

We are faced with products like that every day – and previously there was nothing we could really do about it. That’s all changing NOW. XD enabled software (like LucideaCore’s Design Suite) endows people with the ability to tailor their software applications without having to depend on expensive IT resources – and to deliver eye popping results!

“We’re at a very, very exciting time”

Says McKinsey’s Hugo Sarrazin, “If you go back to the roots of industrial design, you build the product, you try to make it the best you can, you release it in the market, and you wait—you wait for those experiences that the consumer has, these interactions—you hope that you get market share, and then the product is a booming success.

With technology the way it is today, you can instrument your design like you’ve never been able to do in the past. That’s an exciting way to measure the impact of good design. You can do experiments, and you can get a lot of information and all the capabilities associated with A/B testing, to help you refine what you’re creating in terms of an experience with technology.”

What to do if you’re not a product designer:

With Experience Design enabled software, it’s easy to test your ideas and those of your colleagues. Jennifer Kilian, from McKinsey Digital Labs, believes culture is critical and recommends four key elements:

  1. “Understand the customer.” It’s everyone’s job to know who the end user is – not just the designer’s.
  2. “Bring that empathy.” Know the heart and mind of the people you are trying to wow.
  3. “Design in real time.” Iterate. Give people something to respond to.
  4. “Act quickly.” Hypothesize, design and test quickly – try multiple prototypes instead of a single production ready solution.

Where to from here?

Information professionals are experts at understanding their “customers,” and they excel at bringing empathy into the knowledge exchange equation. With XD enabled tools like Lucidea’s Design Suite which help you configure terrific solutions that make your users say “Wow!” (and ways to measure success on the fly) you’ll have the confidence to act quickly, and the ability to try multiple options so you can arrive at the perfect match for your organization. They’ll love you for it!

Ron Aspe

Ron Aspe

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