Designing a perfect Configurator User Experience (UX) is a quest that every marketer, business analyst, and designer must embark on.
The best designers will tell you that creating a flawless UX is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding tasks in UX design.
It is no wonder that most successful businesses invest heavily in the design of their customer interaction platforms, especially considering the fact that a well-designed Configurator can have a significant impact on a shopper’s decision to make a purchase or not.
What is a Configurator?
In case you’re wondering, a Configurator is a tool that enables shoppers to assemble their own products, combining different components from different brands into one single product.
Essentially, you could say that the Configurator is a cross between a shopping cart and a product browser.
In reality, some companies use the term “Configurator” to describe their whole customer experience, including their website, email campaign, and in-store experience.
So, when we say that “you need a perfect Configurator UX”, what we’re actually referring to is creating a perfect customer experience, which includes the UX of your product.
Why Must A Design Be Perfect?
A few years back, when Google began to dominate the search engine market, many businesses scrambled to figure out how to best structure their SEO strategies.
Some businesses decided to have their webmaster find products that are similar to their own and then list them on the site.
This model worked well, but what it lacked was a seamless customer experience (UX) between the discovery of similar products and the ability to buy them.
In other words, when a shopper came across a similar product on a website, they had to leave the site to make the purchase.
This is where the Configurator shines. When a customer finds a suitable product using a Configurator, the entire purchasing process should occur within the confines of the website.
In 2017, with nearly all major eCommerce platforms offering a Configurator, finding a purpose-built design that perfectly fits your business goals and budget is easier said than done.
To help you navigate this complex world of designing a perfect Configurator UX, we will lay out some tried and tested methods for creating a flawless user experience.
The Importance of User Research
Before we begin, it’s important to note that no matter what, you will never create a perfect configurator experience without doing extensive user research. What exactly does that mean?
To start, you need to sit down and map out exactly what your aim is for your configurator.
Why are you creating one? What is the problem you’re trying to solve?
You’ll then need to define your USP (unique selling proposition). In simple terms, your USP states what sets you apart from other companies who produce similar products.
To find your USP, ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes my product special?
- Why should people buy my product instead of getting their daily coffee from another brand?
- Why should people choose my product over another similar one?
- What problems could people face that my product will solve?
- What benefits does my product offer?
- For whom is my product designed?
- What is the social responsibility of my product?
- How can I make my product more accessible to people with disabilities?
Once you have your answer to these questions, you’ll be able to craft a compelling narrative that will guide your entire user experience design process.
This is more important than ever considering that your product could be the difference between winning and losing a customer.
You don’t want to rush the process of creating a perfect UX, as things can quickly go wrong if you aren’t careful. That’s why it’s important to take your time and do it right.
The Importance of Paper and Pens
A few years back, we were all using Word processors and drawing tablets to create content. Then, along came the desktop publishing revolution and changed everything.
Suddenly, we had access to incredible tools that could make us create content with ease. These days, no one even thinks about how they write or what tools they use to create content.
Tools are so ingrained into our day-to-day lives that they have become invisible. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t important!
If you’re designing a product that customers will need to consult online, you’ll need to consider what tools they use to explore the website.
For example, if you’re designing a food-related product, you’ll need to consider whether your customer uses a mouse or a trackpad.
Alternatively, you could ask them or test out your website with them to see what they face during the exploration stage.
To create the perfect Configurator UX, it’s important to not only take their needs and wants into consideration but also the tools they use to satisfy those needs.
Keep It Simple
Simplicity is something that every UX designer must strive for. In simple terms, less is more.
When creating a beautiful, functional product, simplicity is the key to achieving optimum results.
Every element on the product should serve its purpose without being overwhelming. In case you’re wondering, simplicity can be a matter of taste as well as function.
For example, if you have a very simple design aesthetic that doesn’t disrupt the functionality of the product, customers will have an easier time navigating it.
Using too many colors or complex layouts can actually cause customers to have a harder time figuring out what exactly they’re looking at.
Also, fewer moving parts usually mean fewer errors. These sorts of errors could lead to a customer experiencing trouble or frustration while using your product. To create a flawless product, keep it simple!
The Difference in Quality
When talking about quality, most people think about the product itself, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Just because a product is of high quality doesn’t necessarily mean it will create the perfect user experience, as a lot goes into it.
For example, many high-quality laptops come with a built-in cellular modem, which provides internet access even when you’re offline.
In other words, the quality of the product itself is important, but so is how it performs once it’s been activated.
That’s why, when creating a perfect configurator experience, you must ensure that the quality of the product is guaranteed.
For this reason, you’ll need to work with trusted suppliers who can provide you with a top tier product.
Also, it’s important to research the quality of the product you’ll be assembling as well.
Remember, you’re putting together a product that you’ll be selling, so you want to be sure that the materials are of high quality and will serve their purpose.
Not to mention, you’ll be using heavy equipment, so you want to make sure that it’s been well-mastered by experts before you begin your assembly process.
To find the bugs before you release the product is an important step in the process of creating a perfect Configurator UX.
As we mentioned earlier, simplicity is key, so using a lot of complicated steps in your design can hinder your ability to test and release the product.
To create a flawless product, you must be sure that it meets the quality standards you’ve set and that it works as it’s supposed to.
Testing is an essential part of the design process and should be performed systematically throughout the development cycle. Be sure to test your product extensively before you put it on the market.
If you’ve created something that you think might be useful or that you believe will satisfy your customers, you should definitely test it out.
However, you mustn’t rush the process and put the product on the market before it’s been tested thoroughly, as this could cause serious problems once the product is shipped.
When we talk about UX, we usually think about the final product and how it will look, but there’s another aspect to it as well.
To create a perfect configurator experience, you must take into consideration not only how the end product will look but also how it will function.
One way you can do this is through prototyping. Prototyping is the process of creating a working mock-up of the product you plan to create.
Using a tool like Visio, you can lay out all the different components of your product and how they will work together.
You don’t need to go overboard and include every single detail, as this will hamper your ability to test the product.
Just include enough information so you can begin construction and know what you’re doing.
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