Build for Happiness vs Usefulness. Build for Delight.

Does your product or service delight your users? Delight is defined as “a strong feeling of happiness”. Are you building products that evoke a strong feeling of happiness? Don’t just build useful products that solve a problem. Build useful products that solve a problem and users are happy using it.

For me, a product is a delight to use when it does everything that is expected, really really well. In addition, it does something completely unexpected. It triggers a sense of surprise. There is a positive emotional reaction that builds my attachment to the product and the brand.

Think about the time when you said to yourself “I wish it did that” and then you find out that it indeed does what you wished it did. Most of the times, it is the really simple and small things, but the mere fact that it surprised you, makes you want to use the product much more. You are happy that they thought about the simple things you care about, and paid attention to fixing them. They met your needs even before you asked for it. You are delighted by the product experience.

Get started on building products that delight your users, by focusing on these three areas.

Pay attention to detail: Make your product capabilities really work. And make it work really well. Pay attention to every small detail about your product. Don’t be sloppy. Even an instance of something that is seemingly undone will be the trigger to not delight your user. Pay attention to the entire experience, right from the first interaction point to the last one. Typically, most attention is given to the product itself, and the entire experience is left wanting for more. Don’t confuse this with keep finishing the product to an extreme extent that you never deliver it to your user. Whatever capability you are delivering, pay extreme attention to it. Take a stand to not deliver sub-par experiences as it does not benefit you in building a long term relationship with the user. Once your user has a bad experience, they are on the path to go somewhere else.

Take all feedback seriously: Don’t dismiss any feedback. If the feedback does not make sense, remember that you are not the user. Figure out why somebody gave you a particular piece of feedback. If somebody takes the time to tell you something, there is real pain or they like your product and really want to make it work . Either way, take their feedback seriously and act on it. Important thing to remember — you are never the user! You could be an expert in how it works, but remember the user is not looking for an expert — they are looking for a useful product that solves their need. If you make them happy using it, they are delighted.

Talk to your users and non-users: Talk to somebody as a fellow human being. Surveys are great in finding patterns but it is very limiting. It is not great at understanding what triggers a person. Sure, you can go figure out a survey that gets you this information, but just talk to people. When you talk to people, you get to understand un-articulated needs. They usually never say what they “wished” the product did — these are the surprises that will delight them when they see it in your product. Also find extreme users. Talk to a user who hates your product and talk a user who loves your product. Imagine if you can build something to delight the user who hates your product and convert them to somebody who loves it! Also, imagine a user who loves your product and your next iteration of the product takes away the capability that makes them love it in the first place. Seek people out that can help you make your product better and delightful an that comes from talking to people.

Think about building products that make people very happy in addition to being useful as opposed to building products that are just useful.

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