When thinking about the types of people who may use your product, it’s easy to get carried away with just categorizing them as beginners, intermediates, or experts based on their backgrounds and technical expertise. However, here’s a secret: for new products all users are beginners. As Gigasheet's Lead Product Designer, this is at the forefront of my mind. When we ask people to give our product a chance, the pressure is put on me to make it memorable, and every choice I make directly influences the user’s perception. That’s a heavy burden to carry, and if not done well can cause a lot of pain for those turning to our product as a solution to their problems. Luckily, as every designer knows, or should know, these simple principles that can help make a product more usable.
Just because the concept behind the design is complicated doesn’t mean the interface should be. Users should be able to use a product as intended right away without too much fuss. If a user has to read ten blogs, watch five videos, and complete one demo exercise before getting started on their own work, something has gone wrong.
Users should be able to use a product as intended right away.
In order to build trust with users there should be consistency throughout the design. This extends past just using the same heading sizes, button styles, fonts, or layout, but also to standard platform conventions that are followed by similar products. Users shouldn’t have to wonder whether the trashcan icon in your product yields the same result as it does in others, and frankly it would be rude to make it do something different for the sake of being ‘original’.
Users have their own idea of how products work, even before trying them based upon their experiences with similar tools, based on how they think things should work. A product that isn’t flexible can influence how easy a user perceives the product is to use. Flexibility in design can help speed up a user’s workflow, but also allows them to find solutions to tasks on their own terms.
Even with following the principles above, some users may just need an extra nudge to push them in the right direction. Documentation should be readily available, easy to find and easy to understand.
However, even following the above can’t solve all the problems in a design gone wrong. I can recall a time where I was tasked with creating a landing page intended for a specific demographic. I had my reservations throughout the process, but regardless of my efforts, no amount of design was going to pull together a page that lacked clear intention, let alone an actual audience. Here’s the thing: somewhere along the process a decision was made that this page should be a little bit for anyone that fit within said demographic: potential clients, prospective employees, and current employees. With no dedication to one user group, the intentions were stretched so thin that it lacked that je ne sais quoi that could really draw people in. It was visually enticing but shallow, because it was trying to be too much for too many people. And as Alan Cooper once said,
“If you design for everyone, you delight no one.”
That’s what’s great about Gigasheet. Our familiar interface gives users the comfort of a product they’ve used with the power to do more. We understand that you want to spend less time prepping your files, and more time analyzing your data. We know you don’t want to write code just to look at a file, and why should you? We know you want to be able to do your job quickly and efficiently without having to become a master in some complex software that maybe only helps you accomplish some of your needs. You’re not a data scientist, and you shouldn’t have to be to get the answers you need.
That’s why everyday at Gigasheet we’re talking with you about making big data analysis much easier, so it’s something anyone who can use Excel can do.
And guess what? We love hearing from you! The more we understand the problems you’re facing, the faster we can make Gigasheet the product you’ve always dreamed of.
So contact us today. Join our slack channel. Seriously, don’t be a stranger, and if you haven’t already, sign-up and try Gigasheet today.