Monday, February 18, 2008

Software Branding

In the intangible milieu of enterprise software, brand perception is acutely related to the emotions triggered by the user experience at all touch points. A user will perceive a brand to be superior when engaged in a good user experience.

So, what kinds of emotions are elicited while interacting with software? The negative emotions which are aroused while interacting with software can be anger, disgust or frustration when they stumble due to bugs or complicated task flows in the software. On the contrary, there can be positive emotions like satisfaction when the user finds it easier to perform a task which is also quicker; astonishment when coming across a very innovative feature (the WOW factor); and confidence as the user thinks that whenever they have similar task at hand, they can trust the software to do it for them.

Here are the ingredients to what you call emotionally charged products…

  • Engaging, memorable and distinct visual design
  • Intuitive, useful and useable interactions
  • Innovative features based on user needs and context
  • Superior and seamless technology
  • Easy installations and deployment
  • Great after-sales customer service

Microsoft has well etched guidelines on software branding for Windows Vista.


Abhijeet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhijeet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhijeet said...

User experience is such a complicated topic and so difficult and critical to get it right.
Its about balancing the opposing forces and get the right mix for the targeted audience. The typical opposing forces being flexibility and complexity, it can’t be very flexible and yet simple. Another competing factors could be to have more interaction so that un-trained user can pick it up fast , this very same interaction becomes burden to the same user once he knows how to use the UI. Yet another consideration could be change in existing UI, the new changes however good they are if they don’t resemble current UI, it upsets even very tech-savvy users.
I think simple ui, easy work flow and reliability makes a more loyal customer than a very good looking and too flexible UI. The least the UI the better it is. The wow factor is sometimes skin deep, unless it really offers better functionality.
It’s a specialty and its about knowing your audience needs. We are into developing financial trading platform which must be bug free and poor usability or work flow can be deal breaker. Our business team spends hours to reduce a click here and keystroke there and to imagine a better workflow , which is totally worth it. Personally being a developer, its easy to get enticed into developing something which is complex and loaded with features but not so useful.
It was interesting to share this here and get more thoughts, thanks.