User Experience | 2020-01-20 | 3 Min

Don’t just design User Experience, solve it.

Alisha Srivastava
User Experience

Heard of Spotify? The world’s largest music streaming service organization with over 100 million subscribers and 170 million active users per month; the Swedish based company has become so popular that it has changed the sound of the digital streaming landscape.

Why do people love Spotify so much? What is their secret?

For one, it is their phenomenal user experience that contributes to a highly personalized listening experience. They didn’t just design a product, they designed an experience worth listening to.


The mission is to make Spotify a destination where people can control what they listen to with ease, and connect with artists or creators better through personalization.”

                                                                                                                                                                                   - Nicola Felaco, Senior Product Designer, Spotify


Spotify has revolutionized the way we consume music. With over 30 million streaming songs and podcasts, mood playlists, tailored playlists (daily mix) and a high level of personalization, it is surely a tastemaker.


Spotify knows that: 

-    music is strongly associated with our feelings

-    we love connecting with others

-    we are habitual 

-    enjoy sharing music


So how does Spotify deliver this experience?

The prominence of a recommendation engine with a steadier and predictable cadence helping it to deliver a great User Experience.


Here’s how it works

Machine learning

Spotify’s recommendation engine is driven by a Machine Learning algorithm. It learns based upon various user inputs (streaming history, patterns, and correlations). These inputs are received via an application-layer interface.


So, it becomes imperative that the UX design makes the interface reliable, intuitive and consistent for the users. The design intensifies the efficacy of different sources of reliable user inputs.


This helps measure the inputs easily and personalize the suggestions by the recommendation engine helping Spotify deliver great music tuned exactly to the users’ needs.


Like this, any good design brings value to the everyday life of users. There is beauty when something works intuitively.  “Working intuitively”, cannot be achieved merely by art. A design has to stand on the dimensions of usability heuristics. Consequently, good design is driven by data, user research, and testing rather than only designers’ intuition, aesthetics, and emotions.


Reddit, one of the most data-driven websites does not focus on aesthetics for its user interface. Its visual design is not heartwarming. It believes in delivering design with a purpose and that makes it work for its users - making it the leader of online community forums. 


Of course, it’s important to strike a  balance

User goals

UX design solves problems for users while and promoting business goals. When customers use a product with good UX design, they get the best value from that experience. Satisfaction among customers results in their retention and business growth. 


UX is everything. It always has been, but it’s undervalued and underinvested in by many.         

                                                                                         - Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter



User experience is where the business goals and user goals intersect. It helps to measure user interaction with your business. According to Designing For Success, optimizing web design for mobile users showed positive results in business growth. Following were the results: 

  • 30% increase in sales
  • 50% decrease in bounce rate
  • 70% increase in the number of products sold

We’ve heard these examples countless times… Airbnb trumped hotels, WhatsApp became the 1 messaging app for purely focussing on the user’s needs. Delightful digital interactions and a high level of personalization made it completely customer-centric.


User Expectations and biased solutions - a mismatch made in hell

Forrester Research (2008) revealed that 70% of projects fail due to the lack of user acceptance. “Leave a trail of playful web annotations”,  a user involvement concept by failed because it was too abstruse for its users. They misunderstood their customers’ intentions, grossly. A product should create sense and serve a purpose for a business to achieve its goals. The balance is right when the user’s expectations align with the product’s features and benefits making this match is more science than art.


Aim and hit the Sweet Spot! 


UX design retains customers and positions your business as a premier in the market. But only knowing this won't let you hit the win-win sweet spot. For bringing in order and coherence, it is essential to understand the UX subset theory.


The Subset Theory talks about aligning technology, user and business strategy in the same picture. The overlapping dimensions of these hold the genesis of innovations that drives design.

Subset theory

Amongst India’s most innovative startups, Swiggy, emerged at the top in trust and customer satisfaction, soring high and consequently being the application of an eye of investors by reportedly raising $653.8 million so far. Business Today, 2019. Another example is PayTM, India’s most used mobile wallet, seeing increasing monthly transactions growing over 30% month on month at one point in time, by revamping its experience with data-driven strategies to make it completely personalized and opening up avenues to build new products on top of the underlying usage trends. 

What is the scientific method of Design, you ask?

Today’s competitive landscape requires a workable UX design that can make the digital product delightful in the truest sense of the word - not just usable but understandable. Delivering this great UX is more engineering than design when a digital design is more about delivering solutions to the problems at hand. At Thence, we’ve modelled our proprietary design engineering and solution framework, RIVO as a problem-solving approach on this same basis. RIVO consists of:

Research: In UX research we factor tangible and intangible variables into the study. There are three key dimensions to understand - user, product, business. At the conjecture of these three, we uncover ‘design intent’ in simpler terms, answers to “why are we designing what we are” as design research blueprints. 

Implement: We implement these blueprints derived from insights of UX research through interaction and interface design - the design of the function and form building conceptual and conditional prototypes for “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” visualizations.

Validate: Validation of the prototypes is one of the most fundamental stages in our solutioning process. It consists of getting feedback from business, development, users, and experts to understand how the product can move from being a Minimum Viable Prototype (MVP) to Minimum Desirable Product (MDP) as feedback is constantly fed to development teams to incorporate into build cycles, 

Optimize: Finally, with the product out in the market, we continuously monitor trends, usability metrics, and other analytics. Synthesizing these data sets to conjure new ways of optimizing the product experience by working as an extension of the client product teams.


Understand more about our proprietary RIVO framework, Contact our team to know more about how you can improve your KPI's with the framework. 

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