Design Consistency for a great User Experience
Whether developing a large-scale mobile app or website, it’s important to keep the experience consistent for your users. Inconsistencies within the design, however small they may seem to be, can seriously impact on your user’s enjoyment of your product as well as the product’s ability to acheive its intended purpose.
Imagine you borrowed a book from the library (a bit old school for a technology blog but bear with me) and the start of the book was written in first person from the narrator’s point of view. But then, without warning, it switches to third person. And then, half-way through the third chapter, there’s half a page in French and some random medieval poetry thrown in before the narrative returns. How long would you stick with the book before wrapping it up for a distant friend’s next Christmas present?
Because a book tends to be written by one, or at most, two people, the creative style of the piece tends to be consistent. However, with a large-scale design project, there are often multiple people or even multiple teams of people working on the same project. So how do you go about keeping the experience consistent throughout the project and ensure a solid end-product that keeps your users happy and your user base growing?
Centralise creative resources
The best way to ensure a seamless user experience without compromising on creativity and innovation, is to create a central repository for design assets. A central library of creative resources allows your teams to work together using a single set of rules and principles and offers a number of key benefits:
- Better user experience. The critical benefit to a central resource is the improvement to user experience. With a unified approach to design, the end product benefits from a streamlined user journey and consistent, end-to-end experience. This, in turn, leads to greater adoption and repeat use of our products.
- Efficient processes. A library of resources helps to bridge the gap between our creative teams while reducing the need for lengthy meetings and ongoing interdepartmental communication. That’s not to say that departments no longer need to work together, but by working together from the same song sheet, the conversations can focus on how to make the assets already in place work better for the end user.
- Greater innovation. With a central creative resource, there’s no need to design everything from scratch. This frees up time for our creatives to spend on more complex elements of the product which, in turn leads to greater innovation. New developments are then deposited in the library for future use.
- Scalability. There’s a danger with any product that, in time, the design will become outdated. This leads to deterioration in user experience and increases the likelihood of your users heading elsewhere. By continuously updating the creative library, we are able to keep our products up to date with current trends through regular ongoing updates to our digital products.
At Atomic we remain strong advocates for unique and individual design. However, the use of a central creative resource allows us to free up time to work on the more demanding and innovative elements of a project. This allows us to continually innovate, while working efficiently with unified creative principles.
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