Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Right-Sizing Experience Design

Experience design, which focuses on facilitating the peripheral tasks around using a product (chiefly, the acquisition process) is being overemphasized of late.  Largely, the notion of a “design-led organization” is being promoted by the design department, which is composed by narcissistic idealists who imagine themselves to be the center of the universe anyway, but it’s also being embraced by product management groups, who see “design” as a way to promote a product without making any substantial changes or improvements to the product itself.

While it’s good (and quite overdue) that firms are recognizing the need to do more than push boxes and reducing the pain in the process can reduce drop-out in the acquisition funnel, the emphasis on design rests on the false assumptions that the product is perfect as it is, that people are eager to acquire it, and that the friction in the acquisition process is the only thing that is stopping prospects from purchasing the product.

Said another way, experience design can be applied to make it easy to acquire a desired product – but it cannot be used to make an undesirable product desirable.   And in the rare instances in which the acquisition process can be made so attractive that prospects will purchase an undesirable product, it becomes toxic – much in the way that people who get wound up in the excitement of an auction end up purchasing products they neither want nor need – and while a one-time sale can result, buyers’ remorse diminishes the likelihood of their becoming regular customers.

If experience design succeeds at jostling for control, it will ultimately be to the detriment and long-term sustainability of the brand.   It needs to be considered, but is not the paramount concern – hence the appropriate level of emphasis for experience design is partnership, a contributor that plays a supporting role, valued for what it is worth – but never to the degree that more important concerns are subordinated.

No comments:

Post a Comment