As a designer, I take pride in my work. I will spend a long time in Photoshop or whatever design tool that I am using for the job, making sure that everything is pixel perfect. Putting together a comp that will eventually be shown to the client.
As the product goes into development and launch day approaches, I get even more finicky, noticing little details that are awry, missing entirely or not as I imagined them to look. This is simply inevitable in the development stage, yet is easily rectified.
To anybody else, these little details probably would go by unnoticed; the product, be it a website, mobile or desktop app would launch and everybody is happy. Well, except for me, the designer.
It is my job to make sure that both the form and function are perfect. This isn’t just design for design’s sake though. The whole team at 383 takes pride in the work that we put out, we want it to be the best that it can possibly be. Stressing over these tiny details, making sure everything is spot on is what makes people fall in love with products. Should these little niggles i.e mis-aligned buttons, images that are slightly off, elements that don’t line up properly all be left in on the final delivery, then we risk the end user losing trust in the product. It is this trust that helps grow the relationship between brand and customer, and which makes the customer more confident in parting with their money.
This is illustrated by this case study by Dan Siroker, Director of Analytics for the Obama campaign, which demonstrates how the small changes really can yield a giant impact .
If you visit a website, particularly one where you’re being asked to part with your money, you need a site that you can trust and feel safe browsing. The customer will feel a lot more inclined to use your site if it has been well thought out, is good to look at and doesn’t have broken elements.
Whilst my main focus here is websites, it’s worth mentioning that this relationship between quality design and trust runs across more than just the brand’s website, as this blog post on The Wall recognises. Businesses often strive for customer loyalty, but little frustrations such as poor service, lack of integration between online and offline stores, and purchases requiring too much effort on the consumers part have caused them to take their business elsewhere.
So how do you insure that you do earn the trust of the customer? Essentially it boils down to a little bit of care and attention. Spend that little bit extra time, making sure that all the elements of the site are aligned properly, that the user flow is spot on and that your messaging is clear and your end goal will be a happy customer willing to use you again.
In recent months we’ve adjusted processes at 383 to have more collaboration and time built in to project plans for the development and design teams. We’ve realised a linear approach to project stages, having the development follow on from the design, compromises the quality of the product and can let the little details slip. By bringing the development forward to an earlier stage in the project we can iterate more in the browser and experiment collaboratively towards a common goal. It is much easier to spot flaws in the design when you get to use the product as the end user would. When details are spotted earlier on in the process, you can nip them in the bud more efficiently and evolve the design in a more productive manner. Not only does the final product go through rigorous QA testing from the development team, but the designers will also sit together and interrogate the working designs to ensure that no further changes could be made to improve the experience.
Our end goal is delivering a thoroughly thought through product, that answers all the needs of the client and which offers a great experience for the user which together builds trust in the relationship.