Why “UX Designer” is a Thing of the Past at Crema + The Future of UX Design || Crema

Hi. Welcome back to another Designer’s Discuss. I’m Sean. And I’m Aubrey. And we are product designers here at Crema. If you’re new here, Crema is a digital product
agency which means we help companies all over the
country design, build and grow new technology solutions and the product teams that build them. Today we’re discussing what the role of a product
designer looks like at Crema and how that role
will evolve in 2019. And stay tuned to the end of the video where we
talk about the top three design trends we see
happening in 2019. So the whole reason we’re making this video is
because depending on where you look the role of a
product designer or digital product designer can be super confusing and everybody sort of has a
different take on it. So we’ll sort of throughout the video define what
that looks like at Crema but maybe it’s helpful to
talk about sort of our introduction to product design. Before starting at Crema, I never really
understood exactly what it meant to be a fully
encompassed product designer. I knew what user experience designers were and
user interface designers but I never really
understood the whole group of it. Previously I was in graphic design. Eventually
specialized in web design and then became
interested in products. But I always thought I didn’t want to go into
product design because I would only be able to do
one of these things that I liked that I liked doing all of them. That’s so crazy that that’s your experience
because my background is even more different, it
was like architecture and urban planning. So it was super traditional design work where
you’re like using a pencil and things like that.
We didn’t even touch computers so everything I’ve sort of done has been learned but I didn’t even
know those individual rules existed. I sort of only knew about the singular product
designer role that encompasses all of those. I still feel like even though you’re not from a
specific design background that that could really
help you in what we do especially when it comes to like, planning and flows. That all kind of ties into the
first part of what we do as product designers with
information architecture. Yeah. So information architecture perfect segue into
what we think a product designer looks like at
Crema and it’s like basically four main practices which starts with information architecture, and
then we have user interface design, interaction
design, and user experience design. So that’s a mouthful. And as we already said this can be individual
roles so we can break those down a bit here for
you. Information architecture is really the structure
of information in a web site and the different
elements within it, and how those different sets of information elements flow and connect together
as a whole. Information architecture is honestly my favorite
part of the entire process because it’s a lot
about problem solving and trying to figure out how to make a lot of different options come out as
seamlessly and simply as possible. So it’s a really interesting problem solving
experiment which when I originally went into
design I never thought that as a designer I would get to work with that sort of strategy and
what-not. So it’s really fun. Yeah I think we even like mentioned in an earlier
Designer’s Discuss video… like, there was a myth that the first part of the
design, like that strategy part, is easier than
doing it in Sketch or on a program. Which, I think we ended up saying the more they’re almost equal
or maybe more heavily weighted toward the
beginning. Because that is where all that problem solving
happens. And if you can get that information
architecture right the first time it just makes the rest of the product design happen a lot more
fluidly. Right. I think it’s kind of like a progression of the
first part. Which if information architecture
doesn’t turn out well, then the rest of your product is not going to work out well. You have to have the first step. You have to have
a good setup. And then, as you move on to user
interface design, you also have to have that work out the right way to be able to continue into the
project. So they all really tie together and work as one at
the end of the day. And that’s why I think it’s important to have this
information architecture at that base level. So here we’re starting with that that one
discipline. So now, like to layer on top of that, we have here
is user interface design. When a lot of people think about user interface
design they think about, “How does it look? Is it
pretty? Do we like those colors? Is the aesthetic good? And it’s good to be engaging with the user
in that way. But an even bigger part of user interface design
is actually making an engaging experience that
leads users to make the right decisions and help them in making those decisions to make it as
effortless as possible. It’s always about pushing the boundaries and
trying to get to what comes next without
recreating the wheel. So the things that work, don’t change the system, because users get used to
things like navigation placement and the sorts of
conventions like that. But there are a lot of areas where you can still
really push things forward without making it a not
inconsistent experience for the user. Yeah. And something we were just discussing last week is
sort of the the rise of all those these voice
control things and weirdly enough that is a sort of a user interface. Thinking about how you
interface with — it’s not a visual interface, but
like how you actually interact with these voice controlled things. So I think as we might see a move away from sort
of like this physical phone screen to the sort of
ambient computing devices, there is a lot to be done there. And I was even
thinking like, the original fingerprint scanners
on phones, like, how awful was was that to do like that? That’s like interfacing with your phone and this
gets the user experience as well because they’re
so closely tied. It’s like what a horrible experience that was. But now you just pull out your phone and it’s like
sort of a seamless experience so. Right. And there are so many things like physical like
verbal or digital that can all be, I think,
considered an interface. So a lot of things you just covered for user
interface also tie in to interaction design. So a big focus of interaction design is creating a
relationship between your product and the user. So one of the main rules I have when going about
interaction design is whenever you have your user
give you something, you give them something back. And so this kind of leads into something I know
George has talked about before in videos which are
habit loops. So actually giving them a cue and then a routine
and then they get the reward. And so that creates a really good user experience. It makes people interact with your products very
seamlessly. It just becomes a routine and then they know at
the end of the day they’re going to get back
something from what they give you. Yeah yeah I mean feedback, especially with like a
digital product, that’s flat not really tactile
either like a visual feedback in those kind of a give back to the to the user is super important. Yeah, I mean interactions can be delayed as well. So something like when someone goes onto Instagram
they post their photo and then that’s the routine
and then the reward is them being able to get those likes. So it’s like you can create routines and rewards
in ways that aren’t just like click a button have
it change a color it can really be a lot more in-depth than that. So it’s not just surface level it’s like very
thorough as far as what interaction design can
mean. That’s a great point. It brings you back into the
application. And you’re interacting with it long after you’ve
done your main interaction. Right. Because at the end of the day, user experience is
about how a user feels when they’re actually using
your product. I mean at the end of the day that’s the core
element of what user experience is about. So as well as we layout information architecture
and all those other elements, if we can’t actually
have the rest of the team together contributing to that and then you know on the development side
actually bringing that to life, it wouldn’t mean anything without all those pieces
working well together. So in a way out kind of compartments are the same
kind of ideas that compartments that bring
together good user experience. We do the same with our team and like a physical
team. Right. Yeah that’s true. So when I was making the transition from web into
product design, I had a hard time really
understanding how all these different parts came together. So the way I’ve always thought of it is that
information architecture is like the blueprint of
an office building. When they lay out an office building, they group
the different departments together and then within
those departments who needs to be near each other as well so they can interact easily. It’s really about laying things out in a way where
the different flows and connections can happen as
easily as possible which is the same for actually building a digital project. Then, when it comes to the user interface of it,
if you go to a new building for the first time how
are you going to know how to get to the elevator, the bathroom? You have to have good, efficient way
finding signage and then you also need to have it
in places where people know where to find it. Is it large enough? Can people read it? If you go
into a building and way findings on the ceiling
you’re never going to find it. When it comes to the user interface, not only do
you have to lay out information that flows well,
but you also have to do it in an aesthetically pleasing way. Also, when you go to a new office
building you always enjoy it if it’s well
designed, it’s new, it’s fresh. You enjoy those things and you’re going to remember that and it’s
going to contribute to a better experience there
in the long run. As far as interaction design goes, things such as
opening a door: How does the door open? Does it open like a normal
door? What if you shop at a building and the the
handle is on the top of the door and you have to climb up grab it and pull the door down to get it? No one would know how to get inside. Yes or what’s more is Norman Doors. I just learned
the term. It’s the doors that have bad affordances, like
they have a pull when it’s really a push. So those are bad user experiences or interaction
design. We have these systems of how things work like
opening a door. And so we keep those things consistent so users
know what to expect. At the end of the day, you want to change things
enough to keep them exciting but not so much
people don’t know how to use them. And then finally, the overall user experience. So
when you take the layout of the building, apply
the way finding signage, the aesthetics, and then all the interactions you have within that
building, that creates an overall user experience. So when you go to a place and you think you love
that place. I so want to go back there. The new cool spot in town, you know, those sorts
of things all contribute together to a good
overall user experience that’s going to make you want to go back and breed a loyal user just like
the user experience on the product design side
breeds loyal customers. Yeah. So there you go. A real world example of a digital product. So looking out at design trends more broadly in
2019, what do we see sort of happening? I think a big push for digital products in this
upcoming year is going to be simplifying our lives
by having to make less decisions and getting less decision fatigue. The way you go about that is by sometimes making
some of these processes more automated and a
little bit less human. Now the idea of that sounds a little scary but at
the end of the day the goal is to make our lives
simpler and easier. I like it. So the first thing is anticipatory design and that
is really about creating products that are
anticipating people’s needs in advance and so helping them make better decisions faster. Some examples of anticipatory design would be
things such as simple as Google search. When you’re looking to search for something it’s
giving you these automated suggestions of what
they think you might be looking for. So I mentioned it sort of in passing just a second
ago, automation design. So that’s another big piece that’s number two.
Automation design. Now, that is different than
anticipated design because it requires me as a user to set up something in advance? Yes. Basically, the way automated design works, is
generally at some starting point you will do an
initial setup and then from there on out everything’s automated. So automation design is really about creating an
environment not where you’re anticipating things
for user, but where you’re actually setting it up so they never have to make a decision. Doesn’t everybody everyone want to live their life
like that? Just walking down the street making no
decisions? So great examples of that are, I don’t know,
anything smart home. My thermostat or my lights know that I’m home.
I’ve set it up in advance to say when I get home
at six oclock turn on the thermostat, turn on the heat, turn on the lights. Those kinds of things. Yeah. Exactly what you said and another element of that
is really taking this user experience of that
automated design and bringing it out into the real world. So it’s just it’s another step further than just
doing that in apps. It’s actually bringing it out
so you can actually experience that in your everyday life. Totally. So that’s sort of like the third point which yeah
which is really closely tied to both automation
and anticipation is the third is the real world user experience which is becoming super common
with all of the the ambient computing devices like
your Google Home Hubs or whatever variation of Alexa device you have. Mm hmm. So you’re still interacting with these things and
there’s a whole user experience there and if it’s
poor you you won’t use it. I remember like years ago we had an Alexa device.
We thought it was spying on us. It ends up it was,
they’re always listening. They’re always creepy. So we threw it out. But like two years ago, like
it was OK, it was pretty good. But I was still pretty amazed. I like talking to this device so the user
experience was getting there, but it wasn’t great.
But it’s like pretty phenomenal these days. Yeah that’s why they’re so prevalent. They’re dirt cheap and they work really well and
people intuitively know how to interact with them. So I think there’s a lot more room for growth in
the sort of the real world user experience there
with more of these devices really. And even going further than that bringing user
experience in the real world could be as something
as simple as, there’s a new banking app called Aspiration Bank. And they actually don’t even make
you pay for A.T.M. fees regardless of what A.T.M.
you’re at. And so when you go to an A.T.M. you’re not like,
“I have to pay an extra three dollars for this.”
Regardless of what HCM you go to. It’s creating good user experience because when
the user goes and takes out money they feel good
about it. Which relates back to their product even though it’s not happening inside the app itself. Yeah it’s freaking nuts. Because who wants to pay
more money on top of the value they’re already
taking out? So yeah that’s that’s a good point. So that’s what we think it looks like to be a
product designer here at Crema and in 2019. Thank you for watching. Remember to subscribe and like for more videos of
us in the future!


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