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Feb 11, 2019 22:34:28

When business and user goals conflict

by @haideralmosawi PATRON | 349 words | 27🔥 | 210💌

Haider Al-Mosawi

Current day streak: 27🔥
Total posts: 210💌
Total words: 67967 (271 pages 📄)

One of my favorite user experience (UX) models is Jesse James Garrett's Elements of User Experience. I use it in my UX workshops to showcase the multiple layers that go into creating a delightful user experience. The foundation of user experience design is the Strategy Layer, which looks at the purpose for which any product is being built.

The Strategy Layer is split into 2 sections:

1- Product Objectives

2- User Needs

Therefore, while UX design is intended to be user-centric, taking product/business objectives into consideration is also very important, since you need to anchor the product you're building to your own goals as a business.

One major problem is when business and user goals conflict, and this is an extremely common situation. The conflict does NOT arise when businesses want to charge money and users don't want to pay money. That's not a conflict. Users should expect that businesses want to sustain themselves and profit from what they're building.

The conflict I'm talking about is when businesses set out to design addictive products, when the addiction is harmful to users. Many startup founders take it as self-evident that their products must be designed to be "sticky", encouraging users to open their apps obsessively.

However, this doesn't have to be the case. If an app is intended to promote healthy living or productivity, spending more time on the app actually conflicts with the goals of the users (goals that made them choose to use the app in the first place). People don't become healthier by living within a health app. The app needs to encourage real-world behaviors that help them accomplish their goals.

As a startup founder or UX designer it's important to find a way where business goals (of being profitable) are met without relying on addictive behaviors. And the more results users see from an app, the more loyal they become to using it, and the more they are inclined to tell others about it.

Results matter more than "sticky" functionality that encourages extra screen time.

Make sure your business tactics are aligned with helping users achieve their goals.

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