Expedia fmr Product VP on Design Thinking (Part 2)

I realize that the paradox of choice presents several challenges. It is a concept that has a big impact on product development and the design thinking process. As a result, I’m sure you’re asking – how do I stay away from its potential negatives? In my experience, there are five elements that help in delivering a satisfying experience for your customers.

  1. Simplicity of Design.

    • Focus on drawing your customer’s eyes to the area that defines your product’s primary function. For example, your call-to-action or primary feature should be instantly viewable when customers engage with your product. You can have secondary features on display when customers access your product. However, you need to focus on what your product does best. This will ensure that your customers find what they need and don’t fall victim to having too many choices.
  2. Anticipatory Intelligence.

    • Through monitoring how customers engage with your product, you can streamline their experience to match their preferences. For example, let’s say a customer visits your website and they search for products in a specific category. During future visits, you can identify user preferences to show products/services that are most relevant to them. In addition, Spotify uses anticipatory intelligence very effectively to share new music with users. The app creates playlists of new music that are based on your favorite artists or songs. Furthermore, this feature also saves Spotify on licensing costs – as up-and-coming artists are not as expensive to stream as established artists.
  3. Abstraction.

    • Instead of building a solution from scratch, you can create an overlay that adds context to a product. For example, think about products that take a standard Google Maps view and overlay the location of specific businesses or events. These enhancements take a standard interface and provide suggestions without having to search using conventional methods.
  4. Help Customers “Choose” Instead of “Pick.”

    • When customers make a decision, they should have a reason to feel good about the selection they make. In other words, they should feel like an expert when choosing a particular option. Conversely, customers who “pick” instead of “choose” are often rushed into a decision. In addition, they can be discouraged about their options and just “want to get it over with.” One way to drive “choice” is to provide access to reviews to give them confidence that they’re making the right choice. At Expedia, we added features like VIP access and other perks that drove customer confidence and excitement. In addition, we created a sense of urgency to book by showing users how many people had booked a room at a hotel within the past few hours.
  5. Intuitive Filters.

    • This is another example of personalization in design thinking that gives customers an optimal experience. Furthermore, these filters quickly provide customers with the information they need. For example, data analysis on user habits can drive specific filters to feature content or services that are most relevant to the customer’s preferences.


Click here for Part 1

Click here for Part 3

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