For a brief moment while I was studying, I used to ‘attempt’ to make cocktails at a trendy bar every Friday and Saturday night. I wasn’t very good, but I did learn a few memorable lessons on the importance of service, and how these short and sharp interactions can shape the feelings and attitudes of the customer. In these few seconds, these nonverbal moments could elevate the positive interactions that the customer sees or feels, and can ultimately influence their behaviours and actions.
For example, it could be as insignificant as remembering regulars’ names, to taking pride on how you keep your bar area clean, to how you prepare their drinks in front of them. All these examples might sound trivial, but they all compound into the complete experience.
These practically quick invisible moments apply when designing your digital products. Recently, I’ve been paying special attention to seeking out what I would call considerate or inconsiderate product moments.
Wait a second ✋ What are considerate & inconsiderate moments?
I think a considerate moment is like hanging out with your friends. The product is polite, understanding, somewhat anticipates what you want next and helps you out when things go wrong. These moments bring out a smile or make you feel secure and confident about the task you’re about to undertake.
On the other hand, an inconsiderate moment is like missing the bus by seconds because it’s early. The product fails to do the simple things or acts in ways that are weird, inhuman or just plain stupid. This eventually causes them to discover that your product is irritating and they become frustrated. This kills the buzz of your product.
Here are a few stories that I’ve noticed about considerate and inconsiderate moments:
An inconsiderate moment 🙅
I recently moved into a new share house. There’s always a few surprises when you move into a new place. I think it was on my second night sometime after dinner and we were all sitting on the couch watching a new show on Netflix. Then all of a sudden, this horrible repulsive beep started shrieking out from our dishwasher. I couldn’t believe it. How could a dishwasher make such a distasteful noise? Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand that the intention was to signify to us that a load of dishes were done and ready to be put away, but c’mon!
The moment that annoyed me the most was it would continue beeping for a period or until someone needed to stop what they were doing, get up and press the button to turn off the dishwasher. How inconsiderate is this product? It was rude and obnoxious, and it demanded my attention straight away. Alternatively, the dishwasher could have relayed a friendlier jingle that went for a few seconds, as well as using a visual signifier that pulsed green to convey when it finished.
I prefer hand washing my dishes these days.
A considerate moment 👏
Most weekday mornings, I set my alarm to wake up at 5:35 am so I can exercise before work. When my iPhone alarm sets off in the morning, I pat around on my bedroom floor near my bed to pick it up and switch it off.
The cool thing that I’ve noticed is once I’ve looked up at my iPhone, the sound of the alarm decreases and makes it a tad easier to turn it off. How cool is that? Thanks to facial recognition on my iPhone X, my phone knows when I’m staring at it, and it lessens to a slightly lower alarm that is not so confrontational to me, who is still half asleep trying to switch the damn thing off.
Considerations like these are everywhere; for example, the Netflix skip intro button that allows you to skip the opening credits when you’ve watched a few episodes in a row. A great moment that saves you a few minutes on those stormy binge-watching Friday nights. Or, the uber eats review notification that you don’t receive until 20 minutes after you’ve received your order. It gives you the appropriate amount of time to finish your dinner and add a more meaningful review if you wanted.
In summary, it’s not about whizz, bang and boom. I would hate to see our digital products full of swishy animations or superficial UI elements just to grab our attention.
These considerate moments don’t just happen. It takes an enormous amount of effort, not just from the design team to pinpoint them, but we need to pay homage to developers, product owners, BAs and the business, and begin to celebrate when the team gets a human-like moment across the line. No matter how small — by investing in developing these moments, we’re continually looking for ways to make our customers happy. Above all, isn’t that what we are here to do?
So, if you’re interested in learning more about moments, you definitely should check out: The Power Of Moments — Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact by the Health Brothers.
The book explores that life is made up of ‘defining moments’ and that we have the power to create them, through four key areas: Elevation, Insight, Pride and Connection. There are ideas and stories to show how we can be the creator of moments, not for ourselves but for our customers too.
Thanks for reading! ✌️
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