About design, usability, marketing and relativity

    The other day I met a very striking example of relativity in such a hollywood issue as design and usability.

    I have one client involved in the implementation of automation in construction companies. His company develops and implements a specialized ERP system for builders. Task management, workflow, process control, and more. And for this very system they decided to make a new interface. Beautiful and comfortable in a modern way. Hired an interface designer with an excellent portfolio and good money. How long, briefly, the interface is done. Beautiful. Comfortable. Modern.

    One thing is bad - the clients categorically did not want it. But "with a bang" the customers and their employees went a prototype version - a table-shaped form, terrible as a war.

    What is the matter? Very simple - for the vast majority of customers, “automation” was previously implemented in Excel tables. And seeing something that looked similar, the client felt more confident - it was “almost the same”, only better. And therefore, the decision on implementation was made much easier. And for employees, the transition to the system was much easier, because it looks familiar, it doesn’t scare. And the “beautiful interface” scared - everything was unusual there. Although objective and convenient. But in order to appreciate this, it was necessary to understand, understand, master.

    Now, morality and how does this story relate to marketing.

    The attitude is the most direct. When we bring something new to the market to replace the old, there is always the temptation to do something revolutionary, completely unlike what it was. Completely change the interface, the logic of user interaction, arrange controls in new places. And always this desire will rest on the inertia of users who are already accustomed to what happened. Yes, with a formal comparison, the new can be much more convenient than the old. However, the old is already familiar and understandable, but the new person still needs to be dealt with. And nobody ever wants that.

    Therefore, when developing design and usability, do not act "in an airless space." Do not do "design for the sake of design" or "so that it just doesn’t look like others." Take into account the previous experience of your customers. Lean on him. Save the psychic energy of users, do not force them to relearn with each update of your product - and things will go easier.

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