First Comes the User, Then Design Thinking & Marketing
We were lucky to receive a guest post this month from Christine Johnson. Christine is a UX and UI designer who has designed innovative interfaces that cross screens and devices. Working at Fjord as their Service and Interaction Designer, Christine designs products and services with a human-centric approach.
Her work is based off research of user habits and behavior which she then translates into insights to help deliver amazing products. She has the ability to stay on top of trends and create aesthetically pleasing interfaces backed by functional UX designs. In this post, Christine talks about design marketing and how it is a meaningful way to connect products with customers or users.
Have you ever given any thought to how much design impacts your life? Or how likely it is you’ve seen a well designed marketing asset this morning that caught your eye? The chances are, you’ve seen a lot. Some that might even feel they were meant for you.
This connection all starts with successful design thinking.
Design in general can range from the internal code design of a machine to the physical design of a space or environment. But so much of the success of design, and with it, a product or service, is the deep rooted connection with the user.
This is where design thinking comes into play. A methodology used more and more regularly to help designers, marketers and business owners accomplish successful design. Design thinking is a human-centered approach that focuses on solving complex problems by reframing the problem at hand and gaining a true, deep understanding of the user.
Interaction Design Foundation outlines one five stage approach to design thinking on their site – Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test.
While there are many variations of this process spanning globally, the main driver for the methodology is the persistent focus on the user. The user’s needs and pain points remain at the core of all product or services developed. When you’re able to put aside your own personal opinions and tastes and focus on the end user, your product quickly finds its value.
This thinking and methodology applies directly to design marketing.
Design marketing is a way to meaningfully connect products with customers or users. As many designers, marketers and business owners are aware – design and marketing have always been friends, best friends! One can’t survive without the other, and both won’t be successful if integration doesn’t happen early and often.
Design marketing and strategy are the most successful when marketing is involved in early stages of creation or updates, and has true alignment with the users needs. As stated on Tubik, setting the channels in which a product will be noticed go hand in hand with product creation.
The success for both design and marketing is gained through a true understanding of the target. For design – the user, for marketing – the audience.
So what can you do to help boost your design and marketing? It’s simple: focus solely on the user.
Put your personal opinions aside, and view all aspects of your product with the user as your lens. Questions to consider during this process:
- Will the user find this helpful?
- Does this feature/solution address the user’s needs?
- Have I considered the user’s pain points?
- Will the user engage with this marketing?
- Am I making an unbiased decision?
If you have a true, deep understanding of the user and their needs, working to create a product or service for them will be clear. With constant alignment from both design and marketing, you’re well on your way to perfecting and maximizing your products usage.
Ultimately, design and marketing should have the same goals from the beginning with the same target. Deeply understanding the user and the target audience from both sides will greatly improve the connection between the product and the customer. So get out there and be the voice of your user!