Building anything worthwhile is a labor of love. Building products that people love to use is no different.
We carefully set the vision, define objectives, build our business case and forecast the ROI. We do our research, deliberate upon the product roadmap and crystal gaze adoption rates. We passionately debate ideas and approaches, sweat over button placement and page copy and vehemently negotiate release schedules. It is no wonder then that, despite the team's best intentions and seemingly perfect product vision, the quest for creating ‘user delight’, many a times, gets buried under the litany of things teams have to do, measure and report on to get the product out of the door.
It is hard to objectively define and measure this rather visceral concept of customer delight. Is it the ‘aha’ moments our customers have when they first use our products or is it their repeated use which shows their love? It could be the relief a user experiences, when something simply works as they expect or it could be their restlessness in the face of unavailability that proves their fondness. Sometimes, it is those small yet thoughtful features that make us wonder why someone did not think about this earlier while at times, it is simply the overall experience which makes us overlook the features or their lack thereof.
Creating a shared language for defining this X factor does not get simpler even for people, who firmly believe that product delight is a true hallmark of a successful product. Then there is the camp of detractors who consider 'product delight' as another Silicon Valley buzzword, which will die its natural death.
Yet time and again, in our own lives, we find that companies which invest their thought, time and effort in creating products, apps and services that make our lives simpler, better and more enjoyable, are the ones we reward by making them integral part of our lives. We stop looking for alternatives. We know and tolerate some of the kinks of our favorite products. We wait for product updates, sometimes eagerly, sometimes patiently. We cannot but stop raving about it to our friends. Should you aspire for a lasting place in your end user's heart, defining what ‘delight’ means to your customers is a point worth belaboring on and we at Nagarro do.
At Nagarro, it starts with deep user empathy. It is listening to the users' needs, likes and frustrations in an open non-judgmental way. It is eschewing preconceived notions in face of contrary evidence from user research. It also means that user advocacy is too important to make it a responsibility of a select few individuals on the team such as designers or product managers or business analysts. Unless everyone on the team joins the quest to ‘wow’ the user, the product development exercise gets reduced to a series of trade-offs and balancing acts between differing ideas and perspectives. But ‘balance’ is boring and ‘trade-off’ reeks of compromise. However nice and practical these words may appear, they fall short of what it takes to enchant our users. This would require a different mindset and a way of working.
For us at Nagarro, it involves gaining profound understanding of the end user while building the confidence to take risks. It involves humility to accept failures and wisdom to internalize the learning. That is why, we ensure that our product development process marries the creative intuition of an artist with the disciplined process of a researcher and logical rigor of an engineer. After all, building for delight requires delight in building.