When you have a small online business that targets mid to lower end consumers, your customers can tend to be price sensitive. How can we convert these “shoppers” into loyal customers? By providing them products and services they enjoy using. That make your customers feel smarter and efficient. And this is where design can help.
In the interest of making this blog post efficient, I am about to simplify the different aspects of design but there are links to some articles provided in the footnote to help you learn more.
So here is a countdown of 3 ways design can help your business:
3 : How your product/service appears to your customer?
This ranges from branding to the aesthetics of your product. The importance of first impressions holds good even in the digital world. This aspect of design most people are familiar with; research  has shown that its takes only 50 milliseconds for people to form an opinion about the visual appeal of a webpage.
An inviting design and a strong brand identity can not only increase engagement but makes them forgiving of other hiccups that may arise when using your product.
2 : How your product/service works?
It is important that your product works in a way that customers expect and even appreciate. Good usability and information design allows people to accomplish their goals quickly.
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” – Steve Jobs
And a great user experience makes the entire process pleasurable. In words of Jason Putorti (lead designer at Mint.com and co-founder of Votizen, elegant.ly), “User experience is how your product works in the real world, or how a person really FEELS about your product”
1 : Is your product/service right for your customer?
Your product might be satisfying all of the above and still be facing the wrong end of the stick. Is it really solving the right problem or addressing the right needs of the customer?
Design thinking is a problem solving/oppurtunity finding technique which keeps customer at its center and is iterative.It requires you to spend enough time understanding the customers needs and find multiple ways to address it. Which way you choose to solve the problem is based on observed patterns of user behavior. You then test your solution and iterate based on feedback.
This can help you understand if your product/service is solving the right problem for the right people. Hence design is not just about visual flourish but is also about problem solving. A well designed product/service looks good, is a pleasure to use and addresses a genuine need.
And keeps customers coming back!
This post was penned by Namrata Kannan, Interaction Designer at Instamojo.com
Aesthetics:  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01449290500330448 http://uxmyths.com/post/1161244116/myth-25-aesthetics-are-not-important-if-you-have-good-us http://ia.net/know-how/learning-to-see Usability and User Experience http://www.nngroup.com/articles/usability-101-introduction-to-usability/ http://alistapart.com/topics/userscience/usability http://boxesandarrows.com/ http://littlebigdetails.com/ http://qr.ae/LQsgS Design Thinking: http://dschool.stanford.edu/dgift/ https://www.coursera.org/course/designbiz