James: Where do we start when we think about how to design a great solution for our audience that we can then build upon?
Radhika: I think the key is really centering all of our design on what exactly is the pain point? So what is the pain someone’s suffering with that makes them come to your product? Like what is that desperate need that you’re going to solve with your product?
I think the problem with design often is that we don’t really center that design on that main question of “What are the pain points?” So how does that manifest itself? The other day, I just posted this on LinkedIn, I was looking at a recipe. Very simple example, where this recipe had this very pretty picture of all the ingredients, but shown in a picture. And each, like, you know, there were those jackfruit which was labeled nicely, then there were spring onions, and there was, you know, smoke, this smokiness, etc. that was paprika, and so on. But beautiful picture with labels. But you know what? All this great design was for nothing. Because what do I need as a user? I just need to know a list of ingredients so I can go shopping with it. I need to know the exact quantity of each of these ingredients. And looking at the picture, it looked gorgeous, right? Vibrant colors, but I had no idea how much of each amount I should be using. If I were to go shopping, it doesn’t help me go shopping, when I see these pictures, and it’s not a list. So herein lies the failing of design.
We often think about design, from the perspective of like, oh, you know, how do I make this easy, interesting to look at, engaging, etc.? But we have to center it on: What does the user need? And how are we going to deliver it? If I think about your first question, you were saying, you know, we have to really simplify and boil it down to what’s the minimal set of stuff. What do people absolutely need? How do you even decide what is the simplest stuff that your user is going to need? How do you strip it down to the bare minimum? Those choices are all based on a really clear understanding of that pain point. And without that, you don’t even know what’s the right stuff to strip away.
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