User Experience – A Work / Life Philosophy

User Experience Design is (or should be) at the forefront of all design, from graphics, to websites, to consumer products, to client experiences. But, it’s not just about easily navigable websites (but that’s important!), or great products (also important!); it’s a philosophy that we can carry into all aspects of our life. It’s a foundation for all things.

Think About Your Audience

In a professional and personal setting, user experience design is simply about having empathy. It doesn’t just have to be applied to actual designs – try applying it to all interactions and projects. Think about the following before you even get started:

  • Define your audience
  • Determine the goal
  • Empathize with the audience
  • Design experience or product based on empathetic vision of most successful interaction

Let’s think about it in terms of real life situations.

Case Study #1 – Business

You own a local bank. The brick and mortar space operates the way a traditional bank does – people wait in line inside or in their vehicle for a teller to become available to complete a transaction. However, you start to notice the line getting longer at certain times of the day, and after a few weeks of this, you start to notice a drop in clientele… people must be choosing to bank elsewhere. You look at the people who have switched to other options and notice that their demographics are similar. They are all in their 20s-30s. This is your audience. What’s the goal? To retain these customers and bring in more new customers from this demographic.

So, how do you empathize with them? Put on your thinking cap, and put yourself in their shoes. Many of these are “digital natives” or people who at least grew up with technology from a young age. What do they value? Simplicity, efficiency, speed? Imagine you were accustomed to doing most things on your phone, including shopping, communicating, being creative, entertainment. This is the very definition of efficiency and speed. Almost everything you need is contained right there in one device. So if their banking is not contained in their device, why wouldn’t they seek out a bank that is? This is exactly what they’ve done. In this case, it will probably be difficult to get the customers you’ve lost back… there was probably little loyalty to begin with if they left at the first sign of a wait. And if you went to lengths to fully understand this audience, you would realize that their loyalty is hard won anyway. The experience you need to design to gain success with this audience is an app that makes banking quick and easy from their device so they can do it on the go or right at home.

Case Study #2 – Personal Life

Let’s take another example, something on a more personal level. You want to have your entire extended family over for a nice dinner. You’ll most likely think about each guest’s food preferences, comfort needs, beverage preferences, and even time frame. You make sure that you don’t make broccoli because Jimmy hates it, you avoid serving white wine because Aunt June usually drinks too much, have a seat near the center of the action because gramma needs to be sitting the entire time but you don’t want her to feel left out, and you decide that dinner time is 6pm so gramma isn’t too tired, but Uncle Bill has time to arrive and mingle a bit after he gets off work at 4:30pm.

A lot of thought and probably list making was involved in the design of this dinner experience. You had to think of multiple people’s preferences and needs, in addition to your own. So you see you’re exercising user experience design even when you don’t realize it.

Next time you have a work meeting with a client or even a colleague, consider thinking about that meeting in terms of user experience. Do the same with all products and services you offer, no matter what they are. You may find you need to adjust some actions or features in order to create the best possible experience for your end audience.

Pinstripe Marketing tackles marketing problems, from websites to logos, to public relations, with user experience at the forefront of every project. This is why our campaigns are successful and tailored. When we think about the end user, we know we can’t go wrong. Contact us to see how we can help apply user experience design to your marketing collateral, from website to print.