As researchers and designers, we seek simple and beautiful ways to connect to people through design. But astoundingly, we let an overabundance of data in the form of click rates, SEO optimization, persona profiles, or broad generalizations about demographic cohorts guide our designs. We lose the sense of human experience as an art form. We stop surprising and start conforming. The name “User Experience” itself dehumanizes people by calling them “users.” Impactful experience design is, and always has been, a harmony of form and function. And, to do that right, we have to understand the emotional lives in which people live.
We will explore two projects Woods Creative worked on in 2016: One with a NASDAQ traded software company and another with a Boston-local not-for-profit grocery store. We will discuss, in both cases, how we approached research from a perspective less focused on the usability and behavior with the experience, but more about the communicative style and daily life challenges of people engaging with the brand. We’ll talk about how both projects, as different as two could possibly be, proved to us that people crave a balance of form and function that resonates with who they are. And, we’ll talk about how our research methodology led us to the experience and design choices we made.