"If your users have many questions, it's a failure of your primary site design. It becomes not so much customer support, as much as customer complaints".
- Jakob Nielsen
Over the past years, we have seen a growing popularity of designs and Marketing and Advertising campaigns created and designed for end users and customers.
Once you start practicing user-oriented designs or campaigns, and you see the tremendous increase in customer take up and loyalty, and decrease in customer support costs, chances are that you will not want to stop.
Experts say that designing and developing a product is both a creative and a communication process.
Starting from the conception of each asset, creators seek to mold, structure, improve and explain their idea. This is why and when the iterative process makes its appearance. Its mistake-amend nature will deliver a more usable, useful and desirable design, and therefore, a more popular one for customers.
Designers tend to the visual and communicational.
They need to express their thoughts both visually and verbally; and therefore are constantly craving for tools that will ease and optimize the communication of their creation process, from sketching to sharing and receiving feedback.
The tricky part of designing, especially if we seek for a usable, useful and desirable asset is that we need to impersonate end users in order to design FOR them.
In other words, if we have a great idea we have to analyze if it is really geared for our users, if they will understand it, if they will be able to use it and even more importantly, if they will become the loyal, long-term customers that every company is looking for.
The best (and obvious) way to do this is to ask them, and watch them and listen to them, as they use and interact with the target creative asset.
Every User Experience consultant will most likely agree on the fact that every creative process has to start off with a layout out of the idea and with a couple of sketches or rapid prototyping kind of designs to illustrate it.
Once the sketches or drafts are done, who better to ask for feedback than the people who will be buying and using the asset. The more similar the sample to the target population, the more reliable feedback we’ll end up with.
But that is only the beginning. Then we go on to the iteration phase.
The purpose? Not only to improve the creative but also broaden its potential to become a desired asset amongst users, increase its demand, and therefore, its sales.
There are tons of wire-framing and prototyping tools out there to assist us along this process.
One of the tools we recommend is Just in Mind. This tool allows clients to create and easily edit designs at any stage, from rapid prototyping to a detailed, complex, interactive prototype and test it with real users afterwards with our service.
Its quick and easy nature, the fact that it is compatible with other design tools and its ability to publish the prototype online, speeds up the not only the creation process but also tackles communication and feedback-gathering issues when used in combination with the right qualitative research tool.