Nowadays users consume digital products within a complex environment. To reach their goals they use multiple devices, they are connected to different connection types and they use more than one product. How can product makers face such challenge?
The product design process has to figure out how people and technologies interact each other in a much bigger context. It is a matter of fact that the digital experience moves from one device to another, from user to user, from an app to a website and from a website to an off-line output.
Let’s take the example of booking a flight:
- on her/his desktop device in the office (eg 27” monitor), the user browses some engines to find the cheapest flights and she/he sets up an email notification to receive updates regarding the prices
- on her/his small mobile device on the train (eg tablet), the user checks the updates and once she/he finds the best price she/he starts the real booking process
- on her/his extra small mobile device at home (eg smartphone), the user receives the e-ticket and she/he saves it on her/his cloud app to be ready to check-in the day of the flight. Alternatively, she/he can print out the ticket and use the paper to accomplish the task
Product teams have to develop a solid design ecosystem to predict and to facilitate the majority of the user interactions. Applying a “design ecosystem thinking” can support all these transitions and can simplify the user life.
In my experience, I started to think about the design ecosystem approach following these three steps
- Observing users is mandatory to recognize and to measure the cross- interactions
- Explore and evaluate how to provide connection with other products/services
- Figure out the user journeys to predict the most used action for the most frequent contexts
As a designer, I strongly believe is our responsibility to make our teammates sensitive about this topic. Leveraging on the different design skills we have, we can support the change, in thinking of the ecosystems, while developing digital products.