The world you and I live in today is filled with an overwhelming amount of information. At every step, we need to mediate and filter the information around us before we can engage with it. Over the years, businesses that have understood this and made things simpler for us have earned a special place in our hearts.
Removing complexities in communication requires a good understanding of the difficulties a customer goes through while communicating with a brand – from trying to get a human on the other end of the phone line to trying to order movie tickets online – and using that knowledge to simplify the process as much as possible.
I took a look at the way mobile apps tackled complexities in communication that I experienced over the years, and the elegance with which they made my life simpler.
What is the most annoying thing you have to deal with when using a new app? If you just thought a long, confusing set of options and steps, then I feel your pain. Giving me endless options and too many steps to go through before I can get my work done is annoying, and complicates my communication with an app or brand.
Good design takes away clutter and leaves a user with simple choices that they can make quickly. Want to understand how? Open your Airbnb app and then compare it to your TripAdvisor app. Count the number of steps it takes for you to find a place you like and book it. Unfair comparison? Okay, try it this time with your taxi booking apps. The lesser the steps and clearer the process, the more simple and enjoyable it is to use an app.
Personalisation and Context
One of the primary complexities businesses face is making the experience personal for their users. As a user, you want to be understood and treated according to your tastes rather than being given a generic, one size fits all experience. As a business, it is essential to have context about your customer to know how to communicate with them and to grow this context over time, understanding them better with every interaction. Getting this right is complicated.
Flipboard has mastered the ability to bring you contextual articles and magazines customised according to your likes and favourites with a simple layout. The app learns from you, and shows you more relevant content every time you use it. This saves you the time spent on searching for articles and related content, and simplifies your focused reading experience.
Working together as a team has always involved coordination and effort. As the world becomes more connected, working across geographies is even more common. Where developers had once sent code back and forth and created patches to complete versions, websites like Github now make it easier to get started on a project using open source code. Instead, everyone involved can now collaborate remotely, on the cloud. Slack has revolutionised team communication and file sharing, and apps like Asana have helped create a central repository of what everyone on a team is doing, reducing the need for email.