The value of a Customer Experience in modern digital products is unquestionable. What we call right now the holistic Customer Experience is a big idea.
The customer's level of satisfaction highly depends on multiple factors, where technology interacts with usability.
In order to succeed with state-of-the-art products, we need not only to focus on the beautiful and eye-catching design but also think about the process of the customer journey and all interactions the user has with the product.
Product Design is crucial for the successful development of mobile and web-based applications. It can improve the overall quality and is crucial to finding the product-market fit.
Conducting proper Product Design is also extremely important to save the money spent on development because it:
1. Help the development team to understand the what are the business needs.
2. Introduce the creativity in the development team, which understands the business need and can propose some advanced technical solutions.
3. Answer all crucial questions so that the development team doesn’t need to waste time finding guidelines/answers on their own.
4. Avoid situations when some unrelated business cases are prioritized over crucial scenarios.
Product Design service can significantly increase the Return Of Investment (ROI) from the digital projects by:
1. Helping to clarify the product vision.
2. Focusing on the business value delivered to its users.
3. Introducing the customer perspective with user personas.
4. Viewing all processes (Customer Journeys) from the user perspective.
5. Analyzing different side scenarios and evaluating their impact.
6. Creating the mockups and visualizing the user experience.
7. Testing the mockups with users.
8. Validating hypothesis before starting actual development.
Our LeanCode Product Design Service focus on the five important phases:
1. Understanding the problem
Here we spend the time getting to know the product vision and finding the answers to (1) what problem we are solving, (2) for whom (target group), (3) and when this problem occurs (what is the trigger).
We use tools like Stakeholders Map, Lean Canvas, and Persona’s Profile for this phase.
2. Analysis of the current market
This part is a combination of desk research and interviews with the representatives of the target group. It is intended to get the market perspective on the problem and find how users currently use it to solve that particular problem.
All commercial and publicly available solutions are considered competition at this stage since they help solve the targeted problem.
During the interviews, we also try to quantify the value of the current solution, which might help build the pricing of the future product.
3. Solution engineering
This phase is dedicated to using the crowdsourcing of the ideas within the team to find and prioritize the best possible solution. On the one hand, we gather the lighting demos and showcase referencing products, and on the other, we try to come up with innovative solutions which can delight the future user.
After gathering the idea, the process of prioritization takes place. We use the Impact/Effort matrix to help us identify the low-hanging fruits and the Core Candidates.
4. Prototyping and estimations
This part of the project is intended to build the mockup of the product to test the new hypothesis with the previous respondents and check how they react to the proposed solution.
In parallel, the development team estimates the selected scope and, if needed, builds the Proof of Concept to validate some technical requirements.
5. Design Sprint Summary
Assuming the feedback from users is positive, we start with analyzing the development estimates to identify the best possible product roadmap that considers budget.
When priorities sort the product elements, we divide them into coherent groups and summarize the scope for the MVP using the budget as the reference for the limitation of the scope.
Our Design Sprint takes about 2-4 weeks to accomplish. The length is, to a much extent, determined by the structure and the nature of the prototype.
There are different levels of details that are required for the various hypotheses with some common items like:
High Fidelity Mockups - those are the complete screens of specific views in the app. They are static and help to illustrate the concept of the user-facing interface.
Clickable prototype - this type of prototype aims at giving the user the chance to experience the final interface and test the usability of the specific features. It helps identify the so-called customer journey and understand the bottlenecks in the process, which creates churn risk.
It is a great tool to demonstrate specific user paths. However, it fails when those paths are complicated and highly dependent on the previously configurable steps (product wizards, etc.).
Proof of Concept app - in cases where there are substantial risks involved with a particular app element, it is worth considering building the Proof of Concept app that only demonstrates this specific power feature.
Suppose you want to build a great AR-based app. In that case, before you add the login, registration, and loyalty features, you can simply start the PoC with the AI integrated with the camera to check the usability of this new feature and feasibility for further development.
Such a PoC typically takes 2-3 days to build, and it helps to estimate better the time needed for end-to-end development.
Once the initial concept is validated using the above approach it is starting to progress towards the full-scale Product Design phase.
It is important to remember that Product Design goes way beyond the superficial UI part of the app. Instead, this is a holistic approach to user experience, which helps build successful products that solve real business needs.
Below me mention some important items, which are created on the way, and which are necessary to build a better understanding of the new system:
This part of the analysis helps to map all important features and plan the touchpoints within the app that make those features accessible. In practical terms, this refers to the view and screens in the apps, with clear instructions for navigation and transparent paths for the users.
It is hugely important for both the mobile app product design as well as the designing the web portals. For example, it is important to decide which features/screens should be accessible from the bottom menu bar on the mobile screen, which can be shifted to some menu/profile page.
Typically, this is a critical element to provide coherence on the design side. However, the well-implemented design system can also hugely streamline the development process. It is the way to communicate with the developers which parts of the interface should be related and leaves no space for doubts.
What is more, a good design system is equally important to the brand itself. Think about the Google search textbox; everybody can recognize its interface event without displaying the logo around it. The same is true for other recognized apps, which have implemented their design systems like Airbnb, Uber, Booking.com, to name a few.
Last but not least, the design system is a huge booster for the marketing activities, as it enables the company to create a coherent message across different channels and helps to onboard the user from the marketing campaigns.
The user experience is a process. It consists of the onboarding experience (I JOIN), accessing the value in the product (I USE), monetization (I PAY), and possibly the churn/closing (I LEAVE).
Those are the essential parts of the process, and epic (as defined in SCRUM) should be designed as an experience of sequential events that lead the user to get the value they are looking for.
Each customer-facing user consists of several (around 5-12) customer journeys that target different system features and have their edge cases.
The role of the Customer Journey is to communicate the whole path from loading the webpage or starting the app to achieving specific business goals.
Customer Journeys are also an excellent tool to test users' usability and validate the new solution against the existing processes.
Our talented UX team can help you design a product that meets the expectation of users when it comes to usability and design experience.