GOOD DESIGN MAKES A PRODUCT UNDERSTANDABLE
Few realize the chemical reactions that are taking place in the human brain while shopping, whether it be online or in-store. There's a lot for shoppers to focus on and think about. Things like, locations in the store, colors of products on shelves, the tactile feel of plastics or fabrics, the smell of specific locations in the store or of the product in your hand, how hungy you might be, whether or not you should've drank that coffee before shopping, where your kids are running off to, and so on. Every detail matters, but how can product developers or companies marketing products pay attention to so many different things?
The answer is simple... they can't. When developing any product, you're trying to achieve some basic principles, namely the ones covered in this blog series. However, this one is particularly important, simply because if your customers can't understand you're product, it's bound to be dead in the water. This is one of those details that you better pay attention to or you'll go home every night wondering what in the world you did wrong for a very long time. You can hire all the right people and execute every other detail exceptionally, but allowing your product(s) to be understandable is key to connecting your customers to your brand. Take the original Apple iPod as an example. Without turning the power to the product on it comes across as extremely simplistic and elegant. However, it seems almost unusable in that state. It's something intriguing; you inherently want to hold it to figure out its' secrets. Once turned on, the user interface is just as well thought-out as the hardware and the product quickly becomes an extreme pleasure to use.
It's that first interaction that you're after as a developer. It's a hard nut to crack, but when you get it right, you know it and your customers know it too. Allowing a product to be understandable typically means removing the unnecessary to let the necessary shine or stand out. It allows the user to have a clear directive as to what actions they should take for a great experience. It's what makes products enjoyable to use and look at, so spend honest time honing this philosophy.