Product Experience Principles
i.e What we want our users to experience?
The motivation for coming up with our Product Experience principles came from answering the following question.
What do you want to hear from someone who has used your product?
- It’s easy/simple to finish my task/job with the product. It’s an easy to understand product.
- This product saves my time.
- I don’t get overwhelmed/lost with the product (aka The experience should be pleasant). It’s easy/simple to process what I see.
- It’s easy to get help whenever I need it.
- It is very affordable. Therefore it is very easy on my pocket.
- It does not have some minor features that I wanted. I wish they would add them.
- I feel that my data is secure.
- I feel the experience/pages/screens is fast. At no point things/screens got stuck.
- Overall, I would not use any other product from my options. It’s an easy decision.
Our Product Experience Principles
The app should talk to the user – Every screen should feel like that a person is talking to the user and it should not feel like the user is looking at a bunch of forms or data. Some examples of this principle.
- Copy of the button text. Use ‘Save your Self Assessment’ to just ‘Save’. The former feels more human and natural, while the latter sounds ‘systemy’.
Optimize the screen for one objective (for actions that take some time) – Design the screens to accomplish only one task. This principle reduces the content on the screen and also gives clarity to the user to act. Some examples of this principle.
- When a user is filling a self-assessment form, there is no need to show a sidebar or a navbar.
Copy is king. Among the various elements of visual design (color, typography, visual hierarchy, content/copy), copy is king. Putting the right words on the screen gives clarity to the user and the lack of proper copy can easily confuse the user. Put effort into the choice of words/copy text. You don’t have to get it right the first time, but iterative copy improvements are easy to make.
- Ex: Cold text when there is nothing to show is better than having no text.
Large is better than Small. Large fonts help with legibility, accessibility and hierarchy of the content. Have a preference to choose large fonts. This will also force us to write less text and be to the point in our screens.
Be obsessed with the first 5 minutes. The first 5 minutes is when the user forms the impressions on the quality of the app and evaluates whether the app solves the user’s needs. In other words, this is the sales pitch the PM can make to convert a ‘evaluator’ to a ‘loyal user’. Be in the evaluator’s shoes and plan for making him comfortable. Some examples
- Reinforce the core problems the app solves for the user.
- Educate/Train the user via videos, app cues etc..
Standardized experiences –Stick to the standardized layouts/experiences as detailed below.
Onboarding – Onboarding screen is split into 70:30. The 70 part captures the onboarding details/user actions and the 30 part encourages/motivates the user to act.
Sidebar – We will only have a full length sticky sidebar (20:80 split) in our products. The sidebar’s primary goal is to help the user navigate through various screens. Therefore the sidebar should be present when the user has a need to navigate and should be absent when there is no navigation need.
Full Screen – The experience switches to a full screen when the user is working on a focussed action. In the following screen, the user is working on setting up a review cycle and the experience just focuses on that.
Cold Screens – Cold screens encourage the user to act upon where there is no relevant information to be shown to the user. Ex: When there are no active review cycles and the user has to create a review cycle. Cold screens are an excellent opportunity for the app to become human. Use casual language with an illustration to strike a conversation. Refer to the Sidebar point for an example.