Designing the User Experience for a Digital Product
Building a cash flow management tool requires a lot of thinking in terms of algorithm and coding, This is particularly necessary if the tool is meant to simplify the burdensome operations of planning and forecasting business cash movement. But that’s not all. Such technical, not-at-all-fun operations won’t appeal to anybody without good looks and user experience. Here’s where the designer enters the stage and makes it all look and feel just fine.
We asked our colleague and master of design, Adrian, to share with you what it takes to transform the technicality into a pleasant experience, especially when addressing people in the creative industries.
Q: You’ve worked for many digital products before. Where do you start from in creating their visual identities?
A: For me, sketching on paper still plays a key role in my design, mainly because it allows me to try out ideas and to indicate certain forms. Of course, once an idea is more fully developed, the computer is a great way to study variations in color, form, etc.
Q: You are passionate about illustration, drawing, photography…. Digital products are technical subjects. How does a creative person perceive such an experience?
A: Creativity, in most contexts, is rooted in understanding, knowledge, and insight. So, I learned to constantly ask myself “why?” when making any design decisions.
Q: What was the starting point in imagining a technical tool like ThinkOut for a creative business owner?
A: Everyone has a different business process (and that’s okay). What matters is the ability to convey your business process to a rational approach. A good business idea, however, it’s useless without the tool that best fits your situation. In the same time, it also has to look and ”behave” appealing enough to please the creative sense of such a business owner. So you see, it is about balance: aesthetics, usability, and functionality.
Q: Let’s face it: cash flow is not an appealing subject, no matter how much into the business spirit one is; especially not for someone in the creative industries. So how do you turn it into a good user experience?
A: At my job, I get involved with all things UX and UI related and that includes creating user workflows, prototypes, wireframes, user interface designs, iconography, participating in the whole process of product development. To empathize and understand the needs of those who will use your product is another crucial phase of the process. Your customers come with their own particular needs and goals and if you can demonstrate your sensitivity to them, you’ll be well received.
Q: The tendency now is to build either playful apps and software or very technical oriented ones. What was your approach for the ThinkOut platform?
A: Through all the process, my one constant is to ask the right questions before designing. It’s a mix of having an app that highlights your interests and elegantly solves your pains.