Employing Design Thinking to Create Better Products

Think of one product that fits so naturally into your life just if it was created specifically for you. That is because it has been designed so natural/intuitive that it feels like a second skin. When compared to this product, the other ones will seem tiring, tedious, and clunky, even if they work well. And you will most likely get rid of them. But how come that the difference is so significant? The answer is in how well the creators have managed to understand the users.

UX design is more than just aesthetics. It is about human psychology which is a powerful instrument in understanding what users really need. This can be achieved by employing a combination of psychology-based design thinking and UX research. In this posting, we have decided to explore the role of the design thinking process in building better products in terms of UX design.

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What’s UX?

User Experience (UX) design refers to improving user satisfaction with a product by enhancing its desirability, accessibility, and usability. We have already explored it in one of our previous postings. Numerous elements fall under the umbrella of UX design as they are meant to increase user satisfaction levels.

Basically, UX design comes down to the tiny details in the things we use every day. Fast food shop loyalty cards? UX. Audio controls on the car steering wheel? Again, UX. The contrasting color buttons used in applications and websites? Yep, UX. These are examples of experience that is specifically designed to meet our needs and keep us coming back.

What’s the Design Thinking?

In order to get an idea of how your design will be perceived by an average individual, you must first understand how the human mind works, and establish empathy for your intended auditory. Human psychology provides the ability to do that by learning general patterns of user behavior. This is what determines the design thinking. Actually, it is about the art of UX problem-solving.

Design thinking is widely used by teams and companies all over the world. It is the process that aims to understand human cognition and minimize cognitive load necessary to complete specific tasks. Design thinking provides a direct advantage in meeting user needs and improving the way they accomplish their goals. Basically, it refers to improving the UX design. Let’s see some of the design thinking principles that can be can be applied to user experience. 

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How to Employ Design Thinking Into UX

  • Social sharing

People are social creatures, it is our nature to be social. We tend to not only reach out to the desired content but also to share it with others. From this perspective, allowing for greater social interconnectedness is a great idea to improve the user experience. When designing UX, ensuring photo/camera/social sharing with friends without having to leave the page is a perfect way to evoke user satisfaction with your product.

  • Intuitive UX design

Our memory is not reliable, especially during cognitive overload. It is difficult for people to concentrate when the system is asking for the same detail again and again. As a result, it becomes challenging to direct user attention to the specific task. Luckily, there are several approaches designers can apply to solve this issue and create intuitive UX.

  1. Using associations. This refers to the positioning of information or objects in groups to suggest relationships (like phone numbers). 
  2. Repetition. In a multi-step task flow, do not hesitate to repeat the instructions/information frequently.
  3. Always present the most crucial data first. 
  4. Make distinctions. Use bold text, contrasting color scheme or highlighting ring distinctiveness to the most valuable information.
  • Error prevention

People make mistakes. You cannot change this. What you can change is your approach to the situation. Try to minimize the situations in which people can make mistakes. For example, you can ask them for confirmation before taking serious actions or simply break up the complex tasks into a series of smaller and easily manageable steps.

  • Multitasking

Currently, the practice of multitasking is trending in many industries. We often use it for the sake of productivity and with the belief that it will improve efficiency. However, when it comes to UX design, multitasking is quite counterproductive – it takes a toll on our brains. Hence, you should try to focus the user attention to one action at a time by minimizing all distractions. Ideally, a page should only require a user to do no more than one task. 

  • The concept of least effort

This concept stands for the principle that individuals will always prefer the way of least effort or resistance. In our context, this means providing the easiest and fastest way for users to achieve their intended goals. Here are several tips on how to apply this concept:

  1. Embrace the empty space by giving your product a breathing room.
  2. Make clickable elements look clickable. Use placement, outlines, contrasting colors, etc.
  3. Use visible and clear navigation with universally recognizable icons and wording. 
  4. Use more visuals and less text. 

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Key Takeaways

User experience design comes down to heavy problem-solving. In this light, design thinking is what can help UX designers start thinking “outside the box” to better understand the users and to better optimize the creative process from start to finish. At Loonar Studios, we believe that this approach is more powerful than it appears at first sight. The simplicity of design thinking surprises so does its effectiveness! Contact us if you still have any questions. Good luck!