Designing with empathy - Anna Charity, Headspace
Anna Charity is currently Head of Design at Headspace and has been nurturing the design aesthetic and brand since 2012. We had a wonderful conversation about early days of Headspace, how they design with empathy, what is a good design and many more.
Good design is not about beauty
If you are reading this, then you are aware that designs can change the way users interact with a product. Whether you are a company founder or just a designer and you just realized having a good idea is not enough. Chances are you spent countless nights thinking how to make your product attractive, how to give it a good design, how to make it useful to your customers.
But what is a good design? Making the product look pretty will bring you profit? Following the minimalistic trend will make the product wanted? What is it? Listening to Anna Charity's podcast you can hear her saying something rather interesting:
Right, so this means design doesn't really matter since it is not about how it looks? Not quite. Designers, particularly website/app designers, have come a long way since web 1.0. A designer will do more than making your product appealing and will do so by continuously keeping the user in mind. The user journey is relevant as it's directly connected with the revenue you'll get.
What a programmer will think as being logic, your user might find it confusing and designers are the bridge between logical thoughts and the aspirations of your product.
So, therefore, a good design is not necessarily about something that looks good nor something beautiful. Instead, it can be provocative or shock your senses. Your product needs to make a lasting impression to be remembered. Partly is about how it makes the users feel.
As Anna points out, we are rather drawn to functional. The product needs to be useful first than pretty to look at. So a good design will make your product be seen as useful, it will satisfy key needs and will emphasize the efficiency in a way that makes consumers indifferent to everything that could take them away from it.
Googling what makes a good design you'll find thousands of answers, with other several hundred waiting for you on Quora. It will date back from when the internet was born to a few hours ago. This should point you to how changing this concept of 'good design' is. Trends change every year or even every season, but functionality won't because it's long lasting. So what is it a good design in your opinion?