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How to Make Software Sexy Again: 5 Things You Need To Remember When Designing A Product

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have apps that are fun and engaging. It appears that software designers are incapable of delivering software that is both functional and enjoyable. Too many enterprise SaaS solutions and one-off mobile apps are either dull or incomprehensible. Users don’t want to download another app that feels like a spreadsheet or brochure; they want one that feels like a game, a toy, or even a novel. To achieve emotional appeal rather than technical precision in software design, it must feel enjoyable and natural in the user's hands. Here are five pointers to keep in mind when creating your product:

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June 15, 2022

How to Make Software Sexy Again: 5 Things You Need To Remember When Designing A Product

Image Source: FreeImages

Software doesn’t have to be boring, but too often it is. From enterprise SaaS products to one-off mobile apps, software designers are leaving their users bored and confused instead of excited and engaged. Users don’t want to download another app that feels like a spreadsheet or a brochure. They want an app that feels like a game, a toy, or even a novel. This means designing software with emotional appeal rather than technical precision; software that feels fun to use and natural in the user’s hands. A great way to do this is by keeping these five things in mind when designing your product:

A good user experience is not just about the visuals.

UI and UX are often used interchangeably, suggesting that they are the same thing. But in reality, UI (user interface) refers to the physical design of the software, such as buttons and menu systems. UX (user experience) accounts for all aspects of the user’s interaction with the software, including but not limited to the UI. A product’s UI can be great, but its UX could leave a lot to be desired if it’s not properly functional. It might be easy to use and look nice, but if it’s slow or buggy, it isn’t worth using.

When designing your software, it’s important to understand the difference between the two terms. A product might have a great UI, but if it doesn’t function properly, the UX will suffer as a result. A great UX is not just about making a product look nice. It’s about making it work quickly and accurately so that people can get their jobs done with as little friction as possible.

Software should be easy to operate by default.

A good user experience begins with the default settings. A new software product might have a lot of neat features, but if most of them are turned off by default, most users will never even know they exist. This can lead to a lot of unnecessary confusion and draw attention away from the features people do know how to use.

The best software products have settings that make sense by default so that new users can immediately start exploring their potential. An example is the website Wunderlist. On this website, there is a lot of potential for customization, such as creating different lists for different projects. But by default, all users can do is make a list. This simple default setting makes it easy for users to understand the product and get started using it as soon as they sign up, regardless of what they’re using the list for.

There is no such thing as a finished product.

Software engineers often have a fixed idea of what their product should look like from the start. They have a vision in their heads that they try to bring to life as faithfully as possible. This can lead to a product that is visually stunning but functionally limited. Engineers know exactly how a product should work, but that does not mean it is working optimally for the user. Engineers are a lot like chefs. They have a set recipe for how to make something and they must follow it precisely. However, there is a big difference between cooking and engineering. When a chef is making a meal, they are creating something from scratch that is meant to be enjoyed right away. When an engineer is making a feature, they are often creating something that is meant to be used over and over again. As a result, an engineer’s recipe might not be the best way to enjoy the feature in the future.

Don’t forget about your users’ hands and eyes.

If your product is hardware-based, you need to take into account your users’ hands and eyes. Devices like smartphones, smart speakers, and VR headsets have physical interfaces that can make or break your UI. Touchscreens are great for quick actions like tapping a button or selecting an item from a list, but in some cases, they are not the most precise way to operate a device.

For example, the original iPhone had no tactile feedback, which meant that you had to look at the touchscreen to know if you successfully touched it. This was especially cumbersome when entering text, as you had to zoom in, select each letter one at a time, and then zoom out again to see your progress. Thankfully, modern smartphones have added haptic feedback to make typing more accurate and efficient.

Don’t forget about your users’ hands and eyes Keep software design flexible.

As the saying goes, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.” This is even more true for software products, where things are constantly changing. New code may be added, old code may be cut, and new features may arise that require changes to the core architecture.

Designing a product with flexibility in mind helps it adapt to change more easily, which in turn keeps engineers from feeling too constrained. A good way to do this is to keep your design as modular as possible. Use systems like object-oriented programming (OOP) to group similar parts of your software into units that can be reused and changed without affecting the rest of the code.

Bottom line

A good user experience is a product’s first impression, and it can make or break a new product. A good UI is not just about how something looks, but also how it works. Software designers must consider many different factors when designing a new product, including but not limited to the UI and UX, how easy it is to operate by default, how it will be used, and how it will be used in the future. A good UI is not just about the visuals — it is a combination of visuals, usability, and flexibility. Keep this in mind when designing your software, and it will be more likely to be successful.

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