1. Designing with the User
I believe that successful product designs are based on empathy resulting from genuine insights in the focal group's personalities, desires and challenges. A regular occurrence in commercial projects is neglecting UX research to save time and costs. Design decisions are made based on intuition and false assumptions.
By treating end-users as partners instead of clients, assumptions can be challenged and real insights can be acquired [ 1 ]. I actively involve user input to guide my design process: it is the basis of my decision-making process, and it helps me reflect on the core value of my product.
3. Designing for Trust
Invasive cookie trackers, sale of personal data and data breaches are becoming more prevalent. Poor legislation and shady ethics have created a scary environment where our privacy is under constant attack [ 3 ]. Yet, the trust shown by users is vital to the success of a product [ 4 ], which creates an imbalance.
I believe users should be rewarded with privacy and security for the trust they have shown. Collected data on usage should be realistic, and never shared with other parties. Furthermore, we should take an active role in providing clarity in the age of algorithms: showing- and explaining the technical inner-workings of the systems that heavily influence our lives.
2. Designing with Data
In the age of information, collecting- and analysing data has become an important part of design: it helps us design alongside our users. However, recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence have augmented the role of data: user behaviour can be analysed in real-time to yield actionable insights [ 2 ].
New market leaders such as Facebook, Spotify and Netflix use these developments to provide its users with tailor-made experiences: just consider the value that Spotify's Discover Weekly has brought. I believe AI has the potential to transform the rigid, scripted interactions that characterise computer interfaces into fluid, human experiences.
4. Designing for Delight
Finally, I am a huge believer of designing with the goal to create memorable, fun experiences rather than creating the most efficient — yet extremely sterile — interaction that accomplishes user goals. Instead, I believe good usability should be a given: it helps set the stage for elements that introduce delight.
I strongly value designs with 'personalities': designs that have a distinct style of interactions and a corresponding aesthetic [ 5 ]. Interactions should be dynamic and engage our senses [ 6 ]. I am a fan of 'micro interactions': small moments of attention to detail where feedforward- and feedback [ 7 ] are used to create elements of surprise, clarity or delight.