Before one enjoys the world class handling or mind-blowing autopilot of the Tesla Model S P85, they’ll first marvel at the zero-profile door handles and ergonomic racing seats. Products such as the P85 are loved by their users because they embody a perfect marriage of design and engineering prowess. Great design reinforces a new product or service by making it more approachable, intuitive, and attractive. Similarly, great engineering reinforces product design through reliability and user satisfaction.
Many of today’s most valuable companies—Apple, Tesla, WeWork, Slack—owe much of their success to this mutual fortification of great design by great functional engineering. Today’s innovators must establish themselves as creators of products that are elegant, user friendly, and feature-rich, in order to separate themselves from the competition.
For example, WeWork’s core offering is not unlike those of many other coworking spaces and accelerators. But the company’s devotion to urban design and strong features, like payment processing and cloud services, has been the catalyst for global expansion.
Uber has also invested significant capital in combining reliable, hyper-connected software with an intuitive, sleek design. It’s no easy feat to pinpoint exact customer locations and assign nearby couriers, carpools, or private cabs on almost every continent on Earth. On top of that, Uber owes much of its popularity to an approachable interface that’s simple to use for first-time users and veteran passengers alike.
Users who flock to a well engineered product are often enticed by great design, but remain loyal because of ongoing reliability. Nowadays, for a company’s technology to become readily adopted, it’s almost always equally handsome as it is useful.
Modern enterprise software must follow suit, and the explosive adoption of platforms such as Slack and Zenefits is testament to this. The demands of the 21st century office have warranted that business communications become faster, more intuitive, and yes—beautiful.
Historically, core business technologies such as the office phone just needed to work, even if core functionalities were unintuitive or simply lost on users. Now, the modern worker is increasingly mobile and efficient, moving between dozens of integrated services on the fly. Immobile, on-premise phone systems no longer make sense.
Luckily, companies like Dialpad are now reengineering the business communications experience. By complimenting important business features (such as auto-attendant and seamless call transfers) with smarter designs, cloud-based phone systems enable uninterrupted communications. It’s the ideal solution for workers who are truly mobile and need a phone system that’s tightly integrated with other cloud-based tools.
For a modern business technology to be readily adopted and effectively used, it now must be technically adept, inclusive, and approachable. Embedding great design into functional engineering is the key to curating these delightful user experiences.