Interaction design is not just about solving business problems

“Problem solving” is a generalization of many people’s definitions of design. Specifically in the field of product/interaction design, it is also a very basic and important requirement to have a deep understanding of the business and propose appropriate solutions. But for user experience/interaction designers, I feel that “understanding business” and “problem solving” are not enough to constitute core competitiveness. When it comes to understanding business, it is difficult for us to keep up with the need for multi-line switching. The operations and PDs of a certain business line; when it comes to solving problems, in fact, operations, PD and even development will have their own ideas, and sometimes they can solve problems, but the method is relatively simple and rude, and the thinking is not detailed and deep.

Interaction design is not just about understanding and proposing solutions for a specific business. As interaction designers, we should also think more profoundly so that we can reflect more value.

Seeking the Fund: Data Design and Short-sighted Anxiety

In many large companies, the concept of digital design is highly sought after, and various XX rates are closely related to KPIs, and they are also an authoritative indicator for measuring whether designers get results. However, if blindly pursuing the prosperity of the data indicators themselves, or even by unscrupulous means, it seems that both the business side and the designer have obtained the results and solved the business goal of “increasing the XX rate to XX percentage”, but it may harm users and cause more changes. The big experience crisis will damage more business interests.

Previously, I saw an answer to complain about the customer service experience of a taxi software on Zhihu. It mentioned the bad experience of automatically disconnecting the manual customer service after timeout, resulting in the need to wait in line and repeat the input content; but some people think this is a delicate design , Because it raises the threshold of complaints and reduces the complaint rate of customers. I don’t agree with the latter point of view. From the perspective of platform data indicators, it is indeed moving in the direction of business expectations, but the problem we want to solve is “reducing the rate of customer complaints”? Reasonably appease customers’ emotions and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty to the platform are the more essential goals. The data-oriented design seems to solve the demands of the business side, but it is making the distance between us and the users gradually.

Reflecting on myself, I have also simply written the “design goal” link in the design document as “increasing the XX rate to XX percentage”, instead of thinking and explaining the real scene and the nature of the problem in more depth, although the apparent problem was finally solved Business aspirations, but it may just treat the symptoms rather than the root cause.

Ingenuity: Make the design output a sense of brand

When I was an intern, I felt that things like flowcharts, information architecture, and wireframes don’t need to be too refined, and it’s OK to express the meaning. Therefore, I have been criticized by a certain Mentor. Mentor has a sentence that I remember deeply: ” You are a Designer, everything you do should look like a Designer.”

In terms of the quality of design output, interaction designers have a disadvantage compared to visual designers, and the performance of interaction designers is rarely seen on websites such as Dribbble/Behance. But even if it is an intermediate product that emphasizes logic and process, we should also pursue the ultimate professional design process, output and landing, and treat ourselves as a brand to produce beautiful things, which can help us in professionalism. Get more recognition, and plans with exquisite process story derivation are easier to accept.

It is not easy to maintain an attitude of excellence under the repeated bombardment of demand. For my own example, I have established my own design document framework a year ago, but I have not been able to deal with all kinds of comparatively well. Persist in small needs, but lazily omit a lot of things. The document layout styles are also different, and change one every month. Recently, I am rearranging and templating my own design document framework (including structure catalog, layout style, etc.) ), I hope to stick to it like a brand and let others know “Oh, this is the design made by that guy.”

Extension: Think one step more than the business side

Being led by the short-term goals of the business is something we don’t want to see, so when designing to meet the basic needs of the business side, we must be more proactive in thinking about the next step and the next step after the user completes this basic scenario. What should be, think about the extension of the solution.

Recently I received a request. There are many lists such as rankings. The basic requirement in Prd is to display the specific data in these lists. However, when I restore the browsing scene, I found that the user has read the list after reading the list and did not download One step of the action can be executed, and the user behavior path is thus cut off at the browsing node; but in real business scenarios, the user will have the next step of offline promotion, but the product does not provide a trigger action point. Based on this, I put forward some ideas for the next incentive/spur interaction after reading the list to help users complete the process of “pushing”, and express them with interesting interactive copywriting. After showing them to the business side, they received relatively unanimous praise and Recognized.

Everyone in the team encourages “design-driven business”, but it is easier said than done. Faced with the ever-lasting “high-priority” business needs, I start to feel anxious and feel that I don’t have time. It is depressing to lead and promote what I want to do.

But sometimes I have to admit that this is the norm. “Design-driven business” does not necessarily mean that a project should be initiated entirely by design. This is particularly difficult for junior designers who lack experience and prestige; and meet existing business needs. , Do more micro-innovation extensions, and combine the designer’s own thinking into a comprehensive solution, which is relatively easier to implement and get results, and it can also help designers build a sense of accomplishment and confidence in a shorter period of time. .

Thinking: Establish a cross-border general thinking framework

Interaction designers’ understanding of the business is very important, but in addition to continuing to understand the business in depth, they must also consciously establish a common cross-border thinking, framework and methodology independent of the business. We cannot be satisfied with solving single, isolated business problems one by one. .

This is what I think is the difference between the interaction designer and the product manager (business manager). The relationship between the product manager and the business is closer. There are branches such as commercial product managers, technical product managers, and data product managers. Some product managers even Ten years of hard work in a certain segment of the business field, if we only fight for business understanding, it is difficult for us to fight them. This may also be why some people think that interaction designers have a strong ability in front of product managers. One of the reasons for substitution.

When I observe the review involving directors and supervisor-level designers, I will find that they can quickly understand and give suggestions based on the background information elaborated by their designers for design plans in various business contexts, and there is no business contact. If you don’t understand enough, you don’t know what to say is good. No matter what kind of business they are thrown into contact with, senior interaction designers can communicate, understand, adapt to the business background and promote the execution of design work at a faster speed. This is even more prominent in design consulting companies.

Interaction designers should learn to establish a set of general design thinking, framework and methodology that belong to their own and constantly iteratively improve in the project experience. They can also be reused in a different business line. At the same time, they should also exercise the ability to quickly learn and understand things. important. Compared to deep understanding of the business, I think this is a more important manifestation of value for interaction designers. Interaction design should have stronger universal and cross-border capabilities. It is a good thing for an interaction designer to have a deep understanding of a certain business, but if he can only play in this business field, he is not a qualified interaction designer.

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