And how do you resonate with your customers at an emotional level without excessive human interaction? You design it in. If you create a positive relationship between the product and the end user, you don’t have the expense of someone needing to explain, “Here’s why this is important, this is how you use it, and this is why it matters to you.”
— Bruner & Emery, “Do you matter?”

But why is being lazy a good attribute for doing UX design? Because it prevents one from doing stupid, cute, things. Sure, some of those stupid/cute things might be brilliant, but most of them would diminish the UX of the product or perhaps take a lot of your development time for no real improvement to the final result.

Just like in evolution, there are lots of mutations but only a very few of them will actually be useful.


Kano Model - Invest in Customer Delight

The Kano Model describes the relationship between the investment in a product and customer satisfaction.


  • Performance Payoff: In general, more investment in (the right areas of) your application will increase customer satisfaction.
  • Basic Expectations: If your application sets user expectations by making a promise, then you must invest in meeting this expectation or risk frustrating your customers. However, meeting expectations won’t necessarily inspire delight.
  • Excitement Generators: To increase delight, strive to “under promise and over deliver”. The classic example of this is Zappos, which may promise 4-5 day delivery, but ship the item much faster.
  • Change: Realize that over time and industry adoption, delight may eventually turn into basic expectations.

Kano Model: a tool to predict user satisfaction

Good Help Content Improves the User Experience

From the MailChimp blog, some tips about creating great help content to improve your customer experience. It also includes a few tips around improving help content SEO:

Get used to repeating the names of your features over and over and avoid pronouns when writing out steps. This will help your search results as well.

Instant Adoption, the "Google Way"

Google does an amazing job at getting users to opt into new “beta” features.

I did the following in < 5 minutes:

  1. Hear about Gmail Priority Inbox for the first time (callout bubble)
  2. Learn what it is, and why it will “make my life so much better” (brief description and short animated video)
  3. Opt in and get started (click one button, and suddenly I’m in a friendly and familiar environment, but with just the 1 twist that I expected)

Awareness + Clear & Believable Value Proposition + Low Barrier to Entry = instant adoption!

Some other factors that led to my quick adoption:

  • Limited Beta: The limited beta approach adds an air of excitement and exclusivity. (Google’s been playing this angle for years, and it continues to work for them!)
  • Extremely clear value proposition: A brief, amusing animation was used to explain the new feature and why it’s worth checking out. The fact that this could be conveyed in less than 2 minutes speaks to the clarity of the message.
  • Trust: I’ve been using Gmail for years, basically to a point where I “count on it always being there for me” (you and me, Google, BFFLs!) So, why not try this new feature? You wouldn’t lie to me, right?
  • Nothing to lose: The “off” switch is quite visible. If I try it out and decide that it’s “not for me”, I can easily turn off the feature later.
  • Non-intimidating: Based on the brief intro material I’d seen, I already knew what to expect in terms of what would be the same/different. I didn’t have any worries like “Will I be able to understand this? Will I need to read lots of help documentation?” In general, the gradual build up of new features over time helps users to feel like they are growing and evolving with the product, rather than having to reorient themselves each time.

These all work well for Google’s free, consumer-facing products. Where else can we apply these techniques to increase user adoption?