Excellent User Experience Requires Impeccable Service
Living in New York City, I am spoiled by amazing restaurants and food. Lately, however, I’ve found myself cooking more meals at home. Why is this? It’s because I’ve become disenchanted with the level of service offered in many establishments. After all, the food is only half the experience, a principle I learned firsthand years ago.
Like millions of college students, I too spent a few years working in the hospitality sector. I started as a server in a college bar in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and hung up my apron at the prestigious Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island.
My work at Castle Hill took place in a spectacular setting, a transcendent property reminiscent of the gilded age. Nothing was overlooked, and each interaction was the perfect balance of luxury and efficiency. Interestingly, I’ve found many parallels between my work as a server at Castle Hill and the design processes I lead today.
If a guest at Castle Hill ordered the oysters and inquired about wine, then we made the appropriate pairing recommendation. In the design world, correct “pairings” must be made as well. For example, an underdeveloped recommendation engine, which suggests items similar to the ones customers view, can damage customer experience in the same way a bad wine pairing can ruin delectable food.
An excellent user experience begins with clear feedback
Another example: when a guest considered ordering a soufflé, we were instructed to make sure the guest knew that the dessert would take 20 minutes to prepare. A parallel principle is demonstrated in software: Clear feedback must be given when a download could take longer than expected, otherwise a customer might get frustrated and give up.
At Castle Hill, every piece of silverware was polished, every glass sparkling, and every tablecloth perfectly smooth; it was the epitome of presentation. In today’s design world, it is common to release products and/or services while in process, but I propose that everything our guests/customers see should be fully thought through ahead of time, tested for QA, and then successfully deployed.
The result of Castle Hill’s service characteristics is an outstanding guest experience with each and every visit.
The same goal can and should be set for design work. Simply put, good design requires impeccable service. And impeccable service means anticipating and exceeding the expectations of every guest, i.e. an excellent user experience.
As we design experiences—whether for an object, service, or system—we should anticipate the need of every guest/client, consider the details of every interaction, and maintain a high level of responsibility for an excellent user experience.
Every client must be left with a memorable standard of design experience, inspiring them to come back again and again. The stakes are high, are they not? Either our clients will be delighted (and become repeat customers) or disenchanted (and leave for good). The choice is ours.
Contact us today and discover Primal Loop’s secrets to an excellent user experience. We promise you won’t send it back.
Gunther Chanange is the Principal Designer of Primal Loop, a human-centered design consultancy based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a firm believer in the power of design to engage and empower people through digital systems and services. Prior to founding Primal Loop, Gunther was the UX & Design Director at Fino Consulting, where he built and led a multidisciplinary design team to create technology solutions for education and the enterprise.