Emotions drive our decisions. 

They shape our pains, our joyful moments. If they are good, we keep using the same products or services, and if they are not, we simply stop and walk away.

There is no doubt that customer (or “user”) research is an essential activity to design products and services that truly meet your customer needs. 

We want to understand the challenges that our customers face in order to design products and services that deem helpful to them. 

If we don’t understand what jobs they are trying to do, what challenges they are facing, and what contributes to a better day for them, then what are we doing?

Read: Do you get frustrated when you can’t open a jar?

But we both know that we can’t cater to everyone’s needs. That’s why we need to look at our specific customer persona, our target audience, and then design delightful experiences, just for them. 

That said — there are a few product design principles that you should not fail in, regardless of the product you are designing or the target customer segment your are designing for. 

What are these product design principles? 

  1. Remove the obstacles: If it’s not necessary, remove it. Whether that is an extra step, an extra field to enter, or an extra button to click.
  2. Your product is not the customer’s goal: Your product or service help your customer achieve the “job” or goal they are trying to achieve. Using your product is not the end game. Make it as smooth as possible. If your customer doesn’t have to think while using it, then you did a great job. Using a coffee machine to make coffee is not the end goal, drinking great coffee is. 
  3. Your product should behave as expected: Remember the time when your computer gave you a blue screen or your phone shut down for no apparent reason? You got frustrated. Why? Because it’s not behaving as expected. You need access to this computer to send a report to your boss. When you are late, you are frustrated. Bottom line? Reduce error. Period.

Fail in those three design principles, and you will end up with frustrated customers. Who wants that?

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