26 July 2019

User Experience: Why do digital products fail?

Ensuring competitiveness in the Digital Era by creating technological products, requires a strategic dexterity in a volatile and challenging market conjuncture. Unlucky, and despite this context, some organizations continue to develop technologically advanced products and services which are difficult for users to use and control.

The majority of digital products that fail are designed based on convictions. Indeed, a large number of organizations continue to gathering requirements and define a particular concept next to the purchaser of the product rather than its users wrongly assuming the purchaser convictions reflect the real needs and user’s limitations.

As a result, development teams also assume themselves as holders of all technology and people knowledge arising from their design and programming know-how, requiring users to think in some ways like machines. Additionally, there is a natural tendency towards task-oriented development over a goal-directed approach, where which intervenient remains exclusively grounded in the part of the process that he is part of, without cultivating the project vision as a whole.

In a complex process constituted by acquires, project managers, develop teams and users, only the first three intervenients are considered in the definition and creation of the majority of digital products which actually will only be used by the fourth intervenient.

In this environment, the absence of a consistent design process associated with business and development is the main reason for the scenarios presented above, compromising the knowledge about needs that need to be identified, analysed and used to guide the concept definition.

Rectify these failures is not from a high complexity but requires the establishment of a new corporate mindset. At BI4ALL, this is a real concern for our teams, widespread of the sustained development of human-centered digital products, where the user guides the entire digital products creation.

In a logic of mental-models, where the user experience with a particular object or device, defines how it will behave with a similar one in future experiences, we define our development according to the capabilities and limitations of the target that we propose to serve.

Producing an appropriate digital product requires a full knowledge over the need that originated it, perception about who are the users, what they are trying to achieve, and how they think and decide. Effectively, these are the questions that require imperatively, a concrete answer to deliver our technical solutions capable of being intuitively used by our audience and not by the team who developed it.

For this purpose, it is necessary to understand what are our mental-models of our users, in a goal-directed interactions creation based on a design process that follows the same model. The diffusion of this design process by the management and development teams has allowed us to have a solid and structured approach to the market, since the first contact between the management team and the prospect, until the product launch.

By considering the importance of these concepts in the development of a digital product, we can diffuse a human-centered approach among business leaders, designers, developers and acquires. Thereby, working together in the requirements gathering and total understanding of user problem will converge it in the suitable support for concept definition, the wireframing process, the interaction flow diagrams design, and subsequently the creation of an appropriate layout. During this user experience creating process, it is important to receive feedback dousers to correct it and progressively improve the experience proposed.


In general, this methodology, which is already the modus operantis in the development of our digital products, allow us to reduce the correction effort throughout the development, ensuring a product high acceptance rate by final users without disregarding the alignment with acquires expectations and the quality standards creation in the deliver of the several digital products developed at BI4ALL.

In short, organizations need to ensure that their teams are capable of developing goal-directed products, promptly serving the needs of increasingly sophisticated and demanding end-users, in a context where the user experience must define the product acceptance rate and its subsequent use.

            Sónia Silva         
     Full Stack Designer