Well-Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love

Summary

Product design expert Jon Kolko examines how companies need to deeply understand member needs and feelings, and these insights need to be reflected in their products. He demonstrates how to conceive and build successful products over and over again and describes in detail the four-step process that leading companies utilize to evoke positive emotions and create deep engagement.

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How to focus on people, celebrate emotional value, and drive optimism through lateral and divergent thinking.

We all love the Nest and Apple product experiences, we tend to use adjectives such as “beautiful”, “awesome” and “amazing” to describe our interactions. Each experience turns us into customer evangelists. Jon Kolko, author of Well-Designed, observes, “What makes these companies unique is that their products are the result of a design process, and it is this process that has led to unprecedented media fascination and consumer adoption…This engagement [by consumers] is achieved by designing products that seem as though they have a personality or even a soul. These products feel less like manufactured artifacts and more like good friends.”

So, how does a company like Nest, creator of an innovative thermostat, earn a $3.2 billion Google buyout? Nest, and the other companies that deliver delightful experiences understand that emotional connection is critical to product development. In his insightful and practical book, product design expert Jon Kolko demonstrates how to conceive and build successful products over and over again.

Empathy is key

You need to deeply understand member needs and feelings, and these insights need to be reflected in the product. Kolko describes in detail the four-step process that leading companies utilize to evoke positive emotions and create deep engagement:

  1. Look for signal from members to determine a product fit
  2. Use ethnographic research to identify behavioral insights
  3. Use simple insights to sketch a product strategy
  4. Simplify complex ideas by using visual representations

Jon Kolko concludes: “The broad applicability of the design process makes it powerful. We are becoming product managers, and our best process for success is a process of design – a creative process built on a platform of empathy.”

Whether you are a marketer, credit union executive or product manager, this book will change the way you will rate, think about and, ultimately, develop well-designed products.

Buy the book at Amazon.com

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