Sandra Mileikyte
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3 key steps to designing better experiences

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When I joined JustGiving in March 2017, I had a great opportunity to nail down the core principles of how design team approach every in-house project. Not only nail down, but advocate it throughout the company and use it to influence business decisions.

It all started when my team was asked to present at company’s monthly shindig (an informal presentation to the whole wide business) on what we are about and how we work. It made me realise that although until that point we had a process in place, and we operated in an agile way, and we evangelised human centred design, the key principle of our work wasn’t actually crystal clear.

It got me thinking. What are the key three steps in any project, no matter, scope, budget, or team size, that we designers always do to come up with a solid brief? Before we even start fiddling with sharpies?

And so it clicked.

  1. We look at the current state of what we’re working on. Inside out, upwards and downwards.
  2. We snoop around. What are others doing? Any cool latest trends we should take into consideration?
  3. We chat with people who will be using our solution and we listen intently to what they’ve got to say.

And these, my friends, are the key three steps to design experiences that will make lasting impressions. There is this great quote that goes along the lines of:

“make things that people want, rather than making people want your things”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. If you follow those👆🏻three simple steps, you will make things that people want. Every time. Without fail.

Why am I so sure? Well it’s quite simple, really.

To design a better experience, you need to understand the current state of it, what can be changed, what can’t be touched, what’s been implemented ages ago, but didn’t work. That means you need to audit it!

To competitively position your product in whatever market you’re operating in, you need to know what your direct (and non-direct!) competitors are doing. Analyse their strengths and weaknesses, map them to your product, and I’m sure you’ll have a pretty niche spot to hit. This is called — benchmark.

And finally, to have a product that people actually want and need, you’ll have to talk to … well, your target audience. They’ll tell you everything you need for a great experience if you only know how to ask. Focus on their needs, pain points and behaviours in the context of your offering. And really listen to what they have to say.

Audit, benchmark, listen — give it a try. Design better experiences.