Lately I have been reflecting a lot about our fast paced lives. With technology our lives are running full speed: our apps are fast, we work at companies with Agile methodologies, we have access to movies and music instantly. It’s no wonder that consumers expect the products and services they interact with to be fast and respond instantly. We, as designers tend to have that thought front and center in our minds during development.
But wait…is immediate responsiveness really needed in all situations? I personally don’t think so. In a competitive market such as the one we have now many companies have the advantage of speed but the ones who will win the customers’ hearts are those who invest in a better experience for the users. I believe that experience sometimes (depending on the audience) means the journey, which accounts for more than just speed.
I have a personal example to share to illustrate what I mean. I shape my eyebrows once in a while and I go to a place to do so (I don’t trust myself with tweezers). For those who shape their eyebrows you already know how much of an unpleasant experience it is. Painful and not fun at all. If you think from a user perspective, you would say that the user would like to make this experience as short as possible and get it done in a minimal amount of time, right? Not in my case. I enjoy and look forward to have my eyebrows shaped. How can somebody look forward to this painful thing? Because I go to a place that creates a whole experience around the eyebrow shaping.
First of all, I can book it online and see all the time slots. Super convenient and easy. Once I get there, people treat me super well, offer me a tea (that I love) and after a painful session of eyebrow shaping (no way to get around that) I have a nice face massage and they even offer eyebrow makeup. So, I leave the place feeling great, happy and relaxed. Of course it takes a bit more time than the usual eyebrow shaping but I am happy to spend this extra time to have a more pleasant experience.
A delightful experience, well thought out, that transmits good feelings and emotions is to me one of the key things of a memorable brand. Even when things are a little bit slower we can use some animations and some storytelling to help the users to get their tasks done.
I am not advocating for wasting people’s time and having slower systems. But I think that during our design sprints we usually focus on getting things done (from the users’ perspective) in the fastest way possible, like people are robots and want to finish everything faster. I think it is also useful to pay attention to how nice and pleasant the experience is, so we can win people’s hearts and make their lives better.
This is my first Medium post and I am very curious to hear your thoughts about the subject. Add your comments, I would love to see other perspectives on this!