Designers are people who aim to create methods and solutions for their customers. However, designers can’t create an effective and elegant system if they base it on theory alone. In order to create the best customer experience, a designer must create a system that can do the heavy lifting for their customers.
But this is easier said than done. Traditionally, designers are isolated and out of touch. They may be great at creating systems and interesting concepts but most of them fail to understand the constraints of the medium. Understanding the constraints is crucial when it comes to creating a good design.
However, being able to build something is not an assurance that it will work. There are tons of factors that determine the success of a design. One of those factors would be the customer’s experience.
You might be able to create a good design by focusing on the customer experience. But it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to create a great design. In order to create a great design, you have to improve yourself as a designer.
You can do this by…
Seeing Things From A New Perspective
Yes, outside-in thinking is a great way to gain a new perspective, but it isn’t enough. Outside-In thinking cannot see the value of complex systems. And as such, it fails to properly understand large scale businesses.
You should be aware that no one intentionally creates a bad customer experience. People aren’t evil and bad customer experience is the result of misunderstanding and bad organizational rules and constraints.
It’s a good thing that designers are well trained and well equipped in connecting and understanding their customers. After all, bringing out the voice and opinions of the customer is the designer’s job! Because of this, you can improve your talent and skill as a designer by connecting and understanding your customer.
However bad organizational rules and constraints are out of your power. So you might as well ignore it.
So you have to focus on understanding your customer. But you really can’t do that if you have a limited point of view. By broadening your perspective, you are able to attract great opportunity, and create a more meaningful impact on the organization.
You have to broaden your views on a lot of subjects as well. However, you should focus on sales, IT, finance, marketing, HR, accounting, and legal matters. These 7 things are very important and knowing at least one of them will help improve your capabilities as a designer.
On the other hand, you can see things from a holistic point of view. After all, the customer perspective isn’t as wide as yours. A customer only needs to look at it from a practical point of view while a designer such as yourself will have to understand the flow, the UI, and the hidden workings of your design.
You also need to look at things from an organizational perspective. Use the limited view of the customer to create a better customer experience for them.
An example of this would be a driver and a mechanic. The driver knows the driving seat and perhaps he knows a little bit about the engine. A mechanic, on the other hand, need not necessarily know how to drive, but it is obvious that a mechanic should know more about the engine than your average driver. To put it simply, the driver is the customer and the mechanic is the designer.
But remember that these practices are merely bridges to get you there. They serve as blueprints, as tools to achieve your goals. Use them wisely in creating a wonderful design that can fulfill the best possible customer experience.
These “tools” fit perfectly on what we would call “lean thinking”. Lean thinking helps you create a clear definition of what the customer wants and it will help you understand what you need to do in order to create a wonderful design that provides superior value.
Take One Step At A Time
Yes, you should change your point of view and broaden your perspective. But you need to do it slowly. Change is hard, and rushing that change may lead to unwanted problems.
And changing the way people think is much harder! You need to take it slow so that you can change people’s hearts. You may need to change their processes, how they view things, and most importantly, you have to change their culture.
This is an impossible task if you plan to change these things in such a short time. Take baby steps in achieving your goals.
Create a Grand Vision
One of the best ways to do this is by creating a grand and compelling vision. By showing people something great, they are compelled to action. If you want to unite differing views and ways of thinking, then create a grand vision that they can rally behind.
As a designer, you can use this concept to your advantage. Use visualization and storytelling to shape a wonderful idea. If you need to convince others, then pitch it as something that helps the company. Pitch it as something that will benefit everyone.
Facilitate And Design
Sometimes being a designer isn’t enough. You need to facilitate what you’ve designed as well. After all, no one can execute a system as good as the person who made the system in the first place.
With your knowledge of design and your capabilities as a facilitator. Solutions and needs can easily be met.
Read, Read, And Read!
You are what you read after all. Choose what you read carefully. It’s good to read articles about UI design but you should read about other topics as well. Why not take a look at visual beauty? Or why not take a look at methods to improve the backlog?
Read, read, and read! You’ll improve faster that way.
Also, check out these 6 Top Reasons to Use a Graphic Designer for Your Business