Here's the secret sauce - no delay:
A good UX enables the user to do what he wishes with minimum interference and obstacles, almost seemingly unnoticed, making the overall experience easy and simple to use.
An awesome UX enables the product to push the user through the interface to the right product’s end point (usually conversion to a paid user or a purchase) even if this wasn’t the user’s original goal, while keeping the experience interesting (and hopefully, exciting) and efficient all the way.
There is a difference – the main difference is who’s really sitting behind the wheel, and who thinks he’s driving.
In the first case, our user is the driver all the way, and he navigates through the product’s features.
In the 2nd case, the user thinks he’s in control and he makes the choices, but the game is rigged and without even noticing, he ends up (sooner, or later) doing exactly what the product owner wanted him to do.
This is the difference between the online product leaders that we see today, and the less successful competitors, that might offer similar products, but do not sell (or convert) at the same level, as the leaders.
To make my point, here’s a simple example:
If I were to enter a restaurant and ask for lunch, and a courteous waiter delivered it to me quickly, without any hustle, and it was hot and tasty, wouldn’t that be good?
Yes, but it wouldn’t be awesome. Not something I would tell everyone I meet about… Not something to remember and come back next time. Not something I would get attached to, so when another restaurant opens, I wouldn’t compare prices or check their menu as well…
Here’s the alternative scenario: If I pass on the street, during lunch time, near a new restaurant, and a beautiful hostess approaches me, and asks me if I would like to taste the newest tasty dish by their famous chef, and provide the restaurant’s chef feedback on it?
Being the curious (and adventurous) person that I am, and being actually a little bit hungry, I step into the restaurant and immediately being seated in a great place with a beautiful view, and a waiter (as funny and interesting as Aladdin's Genie) comes and tells me the story of this new dish, how those special ingredients were specially grown for this specific restaurant, and how the seasoning was especially imported from an exotic country (e.g. Morocco), and that the recipe is based on a secret technique passed through generations by the chef’s ancestors, and so on. The waiter also explains that since this dish is in testing, I’m getting a 10% discount if I could offer some feedback on it.
By now, I’m just dying to taste it (and would have probably paid twice just to see this wonder), and I agree to the price. So by the time I taste it, I’m already charmed that if it would have tasted mediocre, I would have explained myself why I do not have the capability to appreciate it, but since it tastes good, it’s just wondrous…
I provide my praises to the chef (after sharing my compliments through Twitter, Facebook and my ‘food porn’ gallery in Pinterest) and happily pay with an extra-large tip to my waiter. Then I promise him to bring in my friends and family for next week just to taste it too.
Back to work, I tell anyone I meet about this place, and I get them to eat with me there too any chance I have…
So, you get the idea – it’s all about the experience around the core feature, and the story it creates for me to pass on.
To sum up: Being able to just provide a service (e.g. food) isn’t like adding the awesome package around it (marketing – the hostess, sales – the waiter, the brand – the restaurant and the chef’s family, etc.), which are ALL a must-have within your digital product…
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* Image curtsy of Disney and is used under fair use rules. Visit Disney to read more about the Genie character.