Delightful UX: How To Design for Joy [with Headspace]

17 November 2021 6:00 pm LT Online UX Design

What if you could design products that actually bring joy to your users’ lives? Learn how to add the element of delight to your designs in this talk with Frank Bach, Lead Product Designer at Headspace. 

The apps that we all love the most work their way into our affections by being more than merely functional or beautiful. They have an extra “something.” Headspace is an app that’s delighted its users from day one—but this kind of joy-inducing design rarely happens by accident.

In this talk, Frank shares:

  • Best practices and strategies for creating apps that break down barriers between humans and technology
  • How to go beyond functionality and user expectations
  • How create long-lasting and engaging products that people connect with on an emotional level

Whether you’re a design pro or you’re just beginning to explore UX/UI design, this talk will inspire you to take your design work to the next level. 

Think about a mobile app that you really love. What is it you most enjoy about using that app? Chances are that the app delivers on multiple levels. 

The best digital products are usable and effective, aesthetically appealing (and on brand), accessible, and inclusive—and they add that extra element that delights their users. But this kind of joy-inducing design rarely happens by accident! 

So what are the basic ingredients for a truly amazing user experience? The best digital products are: usable, aesthetically appealing, accessible and inclusive—and they include the element of joy or delight. Let’s have a look at each of these in a little more detail.

Product usability

Usability is absolutely essential to UX design, because if a product isn’t usable—if people struggle to accomplish what they’ve come to the product for—they’ll avoid using your product in the first place if there are other more usable alternatives. 

How do you know if a product is usable? By understanding usability heuristics (criteria or measurements) and conducting usability testing on designs before they’re considered “final.”

It’s important to note here that UI design, microcopy, and other elements can have an impact on product usability and vice versa. 

UI and other visual elements

It’s not uncommon for people to use apps that are very functional, but lacking on the visual design side of things. Think about some government, public transit, or smaller banking apps—digital products that typically don’t need to worry about as many competitors. 

But it’s also quite common for people—given the choice between two apps that are relatively similar in their functionality and usability—to simply opt for the one that’s more aesthetically appealing. This is one of many reasons why user interface design is essential to designing a great user experience. UI design includes everything from color palettes to animations to voice design

Accessibility and inclusion in product design

Accessibility and inclusion are often considered a bit of an add-on to the rest of the design process. You could have the most usable and beautiful product in the world—but if it’s not accessible or unintentionally excludes people, those are entire groups of potential users who won’t ever (or for very long, or very happily) engage with your product. 

Inclusive design factors more people and more user needs into the design process from the very beginning. 

Designing for joy

Finally, let’s say you’ve got a usable, beautiful, accessible, and inclusive product. Great job! But you can take the user experience a step further. 

Think back to that app that you really love to use. There are likely a few moments throughout the user experience that delight you. These moments come from designers who design for joy. 

Designing for joy involves attention to users’ needs and goals, but also to their emotions. It factors in brand and finds fresh ways to interpret or communicate that personality throughout the experiences. And that’s just the beginning!

Headspace is an app that’s well known for delighting its users from day one. Watch the event recording at the top of this page to hear from Frank Bach—a Lead Product Designer at Headspace. He shares:

  • Best practices and strategies for creating apps that break down barriers between humans and technology
  • How to go beyond functionality and user expectations
  • How create long-lasting and engaging products that people connect with on an emotional level

Want to take a deep dive into UX/UI design? The best UX/UI bootcamps will give you hands-on experience in working with all of these “ingredients”—with personalized mentorship and career coaching to boot!

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