Redefining the user experience

by josephtaralson

The basic premise of this blog is that we live in a world of information overload. There’s hardly a moment we are disconnected from the latest happenings around town and around the world. From 2007 to 2012, the services that succeeded and gained mass popularity were those that provided us access to the data we needed  – services like Yelp for eating out, Groupon for finding a good deal, and Facebook for, well, everything we’d ever want to know (and a lot that we wouldn’t) about our “friends”. For this five year period, we wanted as much information as we could handle at the tip of our fingers and we loved the services that gave it to us.

Times change, and our demands change. In 2014, we’re no longer looking for every detail. We’re looking for only the information that pertains to our needs at that very moment, and nothing more. We’ve got less time, and an increasingly large amount of information to consume. We want to know who’s leading the Masters without clicking a Google link for Masters.com and then searching for the leader board. When we’re planning our evening, we rarely have time to click through this:

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Yelp did a great job of providing us with everything we’d want to know about the restaurants around us, but it no longer provides the value it once did. We know we want to go out to eat, and we know there are a ton of options, but we don’t have the time or interest to click through a hundred pinpoints on a map. It’s a complex service with a wealth of information that rarely helps us make a decision.

I’ll admit to my bias when it comes to planning a dining experience. Buzzcut combines the best of Yelp and Groupon while requiring the least effort from the user. We provide only pertinent information in the simplest experience. But this transition to simplicity is happening all around us. Tinder is exploding in popularity because we no longer want to sit at our computer and peruse a Facebook-style list of potential partners. Tinder predicted that the typical person decides in a manner of seconds whether they were attracted to a person. They built their experience on this premise, and have been proven overwhelmingly correct. Want proof of Tinder’s dominance? Do a quick search of “Tinder for…” and enjoy the vast array of new services built on Tinder’s premise.  My favorite of these, of course, is Buzzcut, aka the “Tinder for restaurant deals”.  :)

Time will tell whether the market leaders are capable of transitioning to meet our changing demands. History tells us they won’t, but they certainly have the resources, if only they’d pay closer attention to their users. What other services are you using that achieve simplicity while providing value?

Interested in reading more about Tinder’s rise and the affect it has had on the mobile application industry? Read this article.

-Joseph

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