Design of users! How digital products are the mindset of consumers?

Dnyanesh Maid
9 min readSep 10, 2020
Visual: Dnyanesh maid

How design is solving complex states of the digital screen?

Design is considered a collaboration between art and technology. The art forms which has intentional creation of a plan or a system that has functional aspect and perceived as a tool. Design terminologies have been the primary focus & impactive solutions in the IT industry.

Since Johannes Gutenberg invented printing techniques, the design is in any layout platforms has had crucial challenges. According to the book “The Design of Everyday Things “ by Don Norman, the good design is done by the great observers of the absurd, of the poor design that gives rise to so many of the problems of modern life, especially modern technologies. Thinking thoughtful about design has served and worked to make lives easier and smother. Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable.

Norman also believes that the fundamental principles are required to eliminate the problems, to turn our everyday stuff into enjoyable products that provide pleasure and satisfaction. The combination of good observation skills and good design principles is a powerful tool, one that everyone can use, even people who are not professional designers. Why? Because we are all designers in the sense that all of us deliberately design our lives, our rooms, and the way we do things. We can also design workarounds, ways of overcoming the flaws of existing devices.

In the early 1990s, When Norman’s academic research turned into his entry to Apple.inc where he coined the term user experience. Which also led him to become the head of the “User Experience Architects Office”.

User Experience Design

According to the visionary UX designer Tal Florentin, Good designers are similar to magicians or mentalists. They do that using a set of skills and tools. The toolset of a designer comes from a few different disciplines. It comes from the classic design used for a long time in architecture and for a few hundreds of years in print design. It comes from research, such as eye-tracking learning how our eyes scan visual interfaces. It comes from psychology and behavioural sciences, where things like human decision making are explored, and from physiology, as we know the way we use interfaces is affected by human anatomy. It even goes back to the days of da Vinci, the greatest design influencer who ever lived.

Like magicians, designers have to get to know the secret techniques that affect people, train a lot in order to master them, and then — let the show begin.

Some of the fundamentals and principles practised and followed by successful product designers.

  • Designers examine and define the product’s business goals and what would be defined as a successful interaction.
  • Research has to go through a long process of target audience analysis, based on the understanding that the designer never really know and represent the target audience. The user research process reveals who is the user, how the user behaves and what they are looking for. This knowledge allows designers to get into the shoes of users and look at the world from their point of view, rather than designers.
  • In addition, the designer needs to know the product and its functional requirements. A UX designer is not the one defining what the product does. We are in charge of taking the required functions and present them in the most effective way that will lead to achieving the designated business goals in the product’s meeting point with its users.

The layout fundamentals

To see the implications of the above methodologies, for instance, recent mobiles and web platforms would be the best consideration. Where each point of the move-in design is according to the functionality and its user’s aspect.

A computer repair service’s website (https://www.realvisits.org/30-catastrophic-design-fails/)

As we see the above-illustrated webpage of the Computer Repair business. Complexity is inevitable in this case. Considerably by designers and users point of view, all aspect of the layout is terrible. All the text’s and design elements appear to be thrown randomly.

It is difficult to understand and focus on the purpose of the site. Encountering confusion, the menu bar has no breathing space, social media buttons are mixed-up in the same space. The entire website is horrifically built. One would be frustrated to stay on such site or to do any business.

A computer repair service’s website (https://www.realvisits.org/30-catastrophic-design-fails/) layout structure

As shown above, Blue shapes are placed to calibrate the grid of layout. In the middle of the page, shapes are overlapped. Technically, If we put the webpage into the fundamentals of web design, the webpage has not been designed with the essential standards. Websites result better if are followed by a certain grid system.

Psychologically, the brain is the seeker of sophisticated treatments as a pleasure. There are some specific behavioural patterns which the brain follows to learn and utilise tools. Systems designed on the basis of psychological theories are most likely to operate with ease. That would also maintain the distances from complexity. Therefore, have a design system which could benefit to communicate visually. The consistency in user flow and crafted gently according to its user terminology, is crucial for the businesses. Amazon E-commerce site is one of the best design in the industry.

Amazon website

Amazon portal have the complex structure, still, it has breathing space around its components, each of the element has purposefully placed. E-commerce portals deal with the heavy traffic of consumers. It is important to be vigilant and have a sense of user-centric design in such cases. To see the stunning structure of this portal we must reveal the grid system.

Amazon website layout structure

The structure is flawless, simplified and precisely used space. Clean to see and allows the brain to take actions quickly. The minimalist approach is been in consideration. Logo alignment to shopping sections, everything has its appropriate place. Which implies effectively to decision making events.

This is where George A. Miller comes into the picture. Returning back to the 1950s, Miller, one of the founders of cognitive psychology, was researching the different aspects of our cognitive processes. He explored our short and long term memory, the way we retrieve information from our memory and some different aspects of decision making. In his research, Miller found that all of our cognitive processes are limited and that human beings have a hard time dealing with multiple elements. Miller coined a basic guideline and offered the law of 5 plus/ minus 2 options to fit the way we decide. Miller’s law guides us to offer between 3 and 7 options whenever we want to support effective decision making.

The Four Rules of Decision Making

Jam research is only one of the many examples illustrating how we make decisions. Decision-making can be summed up by four main rules:

  1. The more options we have — the longer it takes to make a decision.
  2. Whenever we have too many options to choose from, we choose not to choose.
  3. Whenever we do choose between too many options to choose from we feel bad about our choice.
  4. Effective decision making is achieved when we have 3–7 options to chose from.

Successful and unsuccessful design systems

Lumia-540

Microsoft the major player in the software industry, the company which had shown the greatest of the computing products around the world. But Microsoft saw a surprising downfall in the phone market. Windows phone, the phone which was competing in the market, for a certain period of time, but later it couldn’t withstand along with the time.

The overall failure of Windows Phone masks a series of smaller successes and advances, which Microsoft and its hardware partners have never received enough credit for. Despite possessing the original operating system which was many ways ahead of its time.

A fundamentally and drastically different design system.

The design system was chrome-less, distilled, which had the amazing, emerging and futuristic interface based on tiling interactions. Could not be long-lasting to the consumers. At its outset in 2010, Windows Phone was the boldest and most original reimagining of what a smartphone can be after Apple’s iPhone introduction three years prior. Unlike Android, Windows Phone was not a re-creation of the iOS icon grid; also unlike Android, Windows Phone ran fast and fluid on very basic hardware.

Windows Phone Metro Design

WP7 was pretty much away from the skeuomorphism dominating Apple’s phones and Samsung’s imitation efforts. Where an iPhone served as static icons, a Windows Phone offered tiles with live information on them. A calendar surfacing the next appointments, a messaging app presenting a summary of texts, a phone app with the last missed call, and many more. If we look at subsequent “hub” pages on Android, things like HTC’s BlinkFeed or the Google Now cards with contextually relevant information and news, knowing that at least some of their inspiration came from what Microsoft did with Windows Phone. Or, at least, what Microsoft predicted visions.

The downfall of design

The biggest misstep from Microsoft was in its failure to follow through on its bold vision and novel design sensibility; Metro Design was compromised and watered down in significant ways after initial feedback deemed it too unfamiliar and alien to mobile users. Considering the user experience, ideally, the chronological order in the menu section is monotonous after a certain time of usage.

The long Scroll concept of A to Z is not interestingly engaging the users. The scroll takes away user from its interactive vision of the tiling system. Comparatively, icons in the listing are not visually appealing as they appear on the home screen. As the mobile users are intimately habitual to the skeuomorphism, Metro design is not the appropriate ecosystem for third party app designers and developers.

Simplified design ecosystem

Apple’s visual design process may be one of the most successful design processes ever implemented. With the company verging on becoming the world’s first $1 trillion business organisation — there’s a lot that designers can learn from Apple and introduce into their own design environments.

iPhone IOS, The most sophisticated and user-friendly interface design ever built in the tech world. The minimalist approach is in the complete UI is the best part. IOS visual communication is effective psychologically. The colours and the typographical standards are bold and work smoothly. At the same time, we can see that IOS mainly enhances the overall sense of the line, the fonts and icons both have been deepened and bold, the contrast is higher. All the elements represent a calm evolution and fine-tuning of the user experience.

Also, the system is more smooth, which focuses more on the details of the visual effects and operating experience. On another side iOS for iPad can be said to be remarkable, especially on interaction, not only making iPad a more productive device but also allow developers to gain greater freedom and platform, making iOS application ecosystem more efficient and practical.

Throughout the whole interpretation, we would relate the significance of psychology. How digital interfaces could impassively work with the brain. Taking into the consideration of behavioural science can teach us a lot about humans and it’s certain way of methodological execution, that enhance digital experiences. Therefore, digital platforms appear to be humanized.

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Dnyanesh Maid

Design the flawless experience that solves impactful complexities