The experience lies in design
Facebook did not become famous because it was a great idea. It wasn’t. It was an old idea. The difference was that it was just led by a guy who executed on an old idea better than anyone else.
The difference was simple factors like the news feed, which made people find the network more relevant for their use and conversation.
The difference was user interface and DESIGN.
Design which helped maximize signal over noise (at least during those early days).
Conceptually we were still connecting with our friends, but the design allowed us to know what our friends were doing and how they were reacting to what we were doing - in real time, thereby making conversations spontaneous. The design allowed us to replicate our offline social network into an online one.
And Facebook keeps pushing the design envelope every now and then even after almost a billion users.
Similarly when Google came, search was not a new idea. It was an old idea, but Google’s algorithms coupled with their groundbreaking sparse home page design changed the world of search forever.
2007- and the iPhone changed the world of smartphones forever. Building a mobile phone was definitely not a new idea.
In each case it was design and application of that design to human psychology and behaviour that changed the game.
The best apps today work because they are designed to appeal to certain activities or call to actions that human beings NATURALLY gravitate to. The brand just rides on that by connecting it’s product or key message.
Yet, majority of people pay so little attention to it. Millions of dollars are spent on creating apps, websites, blogs and other digital platforms which don’t deliver because the design and human behaviour is never thought through.
Every other day I get to meet digital media experts, novices and checklist markers who pitch digital platforms or application ideas, without pitching the design, look and feel and user experience of how it would actually work. Everyone pitches the idea- very few circle back to connect it to one simple question - Would he himself use it without being forced to or paid? Is it organic enough and self sustaining enough and engaging enough for someone to just play ?
The technology of creating a social application is known to a web 2.0 coder. The design however,needs a complex combination of understanding of human behaviour, graphical interface, and artwork.
The IDEA is the aspiration to which technology is the enabler.
The EXPERIENCE humanizes it, to foster adoption.
The DESIGN connects the dots to build the experience .