Differentiating your products in today’s highly competitive market is extremely difficult when there’s an app for everything. You need to create something that grabs the attention of the crowd, draws them in, and leaves them wanting more. These days it’s more important than ever to create experiences that engage the user’s emotional being. I’ve dedicated my career to understanding how to form the emotional bond between people and experiences and I’m going to teach you how to do it in my blog series!
Searching for deeper meaning
In the past, I’ve worked for large companies in crowded industries, where the focus was mostly on what to create and how to do it quickly. Consequently, I have witnessed too many teams flying blind. Unable to articulate why they needed to deliver a product or a feature, those teams ended up wasting time working on sometimes arbitrary functional requirements. It was difficult to know if what we were building was the right product for customers when the primary directive was to be first-to-market.
One of the more daunting tasks I encountered while working within a large organization was improving our customer’s perception. Through research, we found that lack of brand trust was causing consistent negative feedback. In order to rebuild that relationship, we needed to redesign how the company reflected itself outward towards customers. Fixing the problem forced the team to think about design by searching for the deeper meaning behind the experiences they were crafting.
I challenged the team to focus on a redesign that would form a deep emotional bond between the customer and the company. Using both outward facing product values and cutting edge internal design principles, we employed a new emotion-centered design methodology that more effectively guided the team.
Large organizational change requires a fundamental shift that is similar to steering an aircraft carrier. It simply takes too long, especially when the deeply rooted thinking and competitive pressure is embedded in the organizational culture. Oftentimes, larger organizations are not equipped to assimilate new design methodologies on a broader scale and innovation gets subsumed by the dominant culture.
The small, more agile design group that I was leading was open to the new approach. We were able to develop meaningful values and principles to guide us, and powerful strategies to problem solve. Unfortunately, the large organization was not able to adapt to our efforts and the connection was never rebuilt.
I believe forming a bond between people, product and company is the ultimate goal in designing great experiences. I’ve come to learn that in order for an experience to connect on a deeper level, it needs to be oriented around how people feel when engaging with what has been created. Most importantly, the entire organization needs to be fully bought in to the values.
At Ivy, we’re committed to establishing a foundational approach to experience design, and we’re fortunate to have done so early on in our journey. Our design principles tap into human emotional needs and are a natural extension of our values. This puts us in a unique position to deliver experiences that truly resonate for people on a deep level.
Orienting around a common understanding
Developing guiding values and principles requires consensus from the entire team. Our small startup environment allows us to easily come to a common and shared understanding of how we want to design. We are able to craft more meaningful experiences with clear intent because it’s in our DNA from the outset. Our budding process is an exciting part of what makes Ivy Softworks an amazing place to work.
In my following blogs, I’ll share how storytelling and narrative can be used to establish empathy. If you’re passionate about creating compelling experiences, we’re actively growing our team. Check out our job openings here.