Free Courses : Clock Application Design in Figma
In business, things change quickly. Trends come and go; tools wax and wane. Companies have to stay abreast of trends and constantly innovate in order to survive. InVision was once an industry darling, enjoying rapid user growth, strong market momentum, and an almost $2 billion valuation. Three short years later, its almost an relic.
In 2017, InVision was the top prototyping tool, with 60% of UXTool survey respondents indicating they used it. Only three years later, their user share fell to 23%, with more than half of those people only using it as a secondary tool. In contrast, Figma has seen an explosion of growth and popularity, rising from about 8% of respondents using the tool in 2017 to about 57% in 2020.
Whats propelling Figmas success?
Leadership understands and values Design
Fitting for a company building a design tool, Figmas leadership understands the value of design. Their VP of Product is very design oriented and laser focused on Designers needs.
They understand that thoughtful design is a competitive advantage. Apple, Amazon, and Airbnb have all enjoyed wild success based on their design focus and customer obsession.
Focusing on product purpose
Figma has worked to deeply understand users needs and context, and then built a holistic solution to address them.
A Lead Designer reflects on life before Figma To give you an idea, at the time I used 3 different tools to manage, update and keep track of the designs. I would start in Abstract where each version of my files were stored safely. I would then open my files in Sketch to actually do the design work. And finally, I would export the designs to Zeplin where developers could get the assets and other information needed for the implementation. Seeing opportunity for improvement, Figma redefined the design tool ecosystem.
Understanding and addressing how people work
Additionally, Figma understands that designing is a collaborative process, involving a variety of stakeholders. To accommodate how people work, theyve focused on enabling seamless cross functional collaboration.
A Web Designer and Developer explains Building for everyone in the design process and not just designers is also the foundation of Figmas core loop, which drives their growth and compounding scale.
So, what can we learn from these two companies?
Companies need a clear product purpose and strategy
A clear and compelling product purpose is a must. Your product needs to address a real user need, and youll likely need to adjust your scope and strategy over time.
The tricky part is maintaining focus while adjusting to emerging trends and market shifts. You need to be open to addressing newfound gaps and opportunities, while still staying focused and strategic in your execution. Unfortunately no one said building an amazing, long-lasting business is easy
Focus on outcomes, not features
You need to deeply understand your users and their holistic needs and goals. Identifying major unmet needs, frustrations, workarounds, and pain points are ripe opportunities for innovation and disruption.
Additionally, you need to consider the wider ecosystem of your users exploring how they interact and collaborate with each other. While you likely have a primary type of user, who else touches your product? Who else could benefit from it? How can you improve their lives and processes as well?
Success requires relentless innovation
If you enjoy early success, you cant stop and bask in your glory indefinitely. You should celebrate your success, and then put your head down and stay true to the product focus and human centered design practices that got you this far.
Companies such as Blockbuster, Polaroid, and Toys R Us failed to innovate, and they all paid the price.
Companies must adapt and rapidly learn from feedback
Companies must regularly review and respond to market and customer feedback regarding pricing, revenue, market share, product needs, competitors, etc.
You cant put your head in the sand and blindly execute your strategy without regard for incoming data points. On the other hand, you need to look for patterns and trends in the feedback you dont want to drastically change course every week based on a single data point.
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