Giving Your Product A Soul

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Joshua Mauldin is a design leader and visual artist who got his start creating websites for bands. Since then, he’s designed 5-star mobile apps and built … More about Joshua ↬

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Quick summary ↬ After a few years of designing products for clients, I began to feel fatigued. I wondered why. Turns out, I’d been chasing metric after metric. “Increase those page views!” “Help people spend more time in the app!” And it kept coming. Still, something was missing. I knew that meeting goals was part of what a designer does, but I could see how my work could easily become commoditized and less fulfilling unless something changed. I thought of how bored I’d be if I kept on that path. I needed to build some guiding principles that would help me find my place in design. These principles would help grow and would shape my career in a way that fits me best.

After a few years of designing products for clients, I began to feel fatigued. I wondered why. Turns out, I’d been chasing metric after metric. “Increase those page views!” “Help people spend more time in the app!” And it kept coming. Still, something was missing. I knew that meeting goals was part of what a designer does, but I could see how my work could easily become commoditized and less fulfilling unless something changed.

I thought of how bored I’d be if I kept on that path. I needed to build some guiding principles that would help me find my place in design. These principles would help grow and would shape my career in a way that fits me best.

Further Reading on slots empire bonus codes Mag:

  • , but, in short, this model covers three areas:

    • basic needs (Does the product work?),
    • performance needs (How efficient is it?),
    • attractive needs (What makes me love it?).

    The soul of a product lives in the attractive needs. The Kano model invites us to think of one or two features that set the product apart from its competition. Framing your high-impact, low-effort ideas with this model will help you make a strong case for soul.

    At our core, we’re people who care about our craft. We want to build great products, and the products need to have those nice touches. Being able to fully ply our trade also helps with employee retention. We’re happier when we’re able to do our best work. If we’re able to fully stretch ourselves to make something great, we’re going to keep giving our best in future. Conversely, if we’re prevented from doing our best work, we’ll become disconnected and disinterested, motivating us to go elsewhere when the opportunity presents itself.

    If your boss or company doesn’t give you this freedom and you think it’s important, it might be time to plan your next transition.

    Wrapping Up

    It’s not enough to simply design something and meet a goal. This is a surefire way to burnout and boring products. We’ve got to do more for ourselves, our products and our industry. Finding our principles will help us find the right place to work and to do our best work.

    Giving our products a soul will make them better, more engaging products. The next time you’re designing, ask yourself what would make someone find your product useful, and what would make them care about it more than another product? Once you do that, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a healthy relationship with your products and building things that people really love.

    Also, it’s not enough for us to have these ideas; convincing our team members and bosses to come along with us is important. Once we test and articulate the value of what we do, we’ll have a much easier and more rewarding time.

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