Attuning ourselves to the consumer psyche will be important for building the billion-dollar businesses of the future. With multiple screens and a wide range of experiences to be had, design plays an increasingly important role in the early adoption and ultimate success of a product.
“If users can’t immediately grasp what you’re offering, it’s almost an insurmountable problem,” says Josh Brewer, Entrepreneur, Designer Fund Mentor and former Principal Designer at Twitter.
Brewer stressed that it’s increasingly important for websites and apps to make an emotional connection with users on the first try.
Echoing the importance of the onboarding experience Stewart Butterfield, Founder and CEO Slack, shared that his team invested heavily in engineering and design early on, to make sure that a user’s first experience with Slack would keep them coming back.
Sarah Alpern, Director of User Experience, Wealthfront noted that one of the biggest changes in design has been that the bar has been raised significantly, with minimal tolerance for usability issues and higher expectations for visual polish and delightful moments.
Vas Natarajan of Accel Partners, asked a handful of questions including how to keep users engaged, whether or not gamification works, and what type of data designers should concern themselves with. He closed out the panel discussion with the all important question: "What is the most important thing to think about when it comes to building for today’s consumer?"
Spoiler alert! Their answers below:
Sarah: Have no fear.
Josh: Attention is valuable, so be very careful what you do with it.
Stewart: Clarity of purpose of the app is paramount; you have to understand what it is.