At Here I Am, we continually focus on 3 key design principles to create an app that makes life easier for a congregation – centralizing information, frictionless onboarding, and simple design. While a basic set of words, we find simple design to be a very complex process. A combination of clear design, trust in the product, and awareness all need to merge in the users mind to create the simplicity. With a wide variety of people using the product, the combination of these three factors can be elusive – yet are attainable through constant feedback, listening and improvements to the product.
Clear design involves removing components just as much as adding new components. While presenting two choices might allow for more information to be gathered, it also creates more complexity for the users. Does a land-line and mobile number both need to be available for viewing? Or can the design be simplified by just providing a single number? As we monitor usage of the product, we find providing a single option wherever possible creates greater clarity for the user as decisions are removed from the process.
Building trust takes time. One-Click registration is a goal that we work to achieve, but recognize that trust needs to be present before a user clicks the button. In past work lives, I’ve seen the work Amazon put in to create one-click shopping. Users had to trust that once they clicked to buy that the right funding source would be used, and that they would have the ability to correct things later (and without a hassle) if something needed to be changed. Working at PayPal, one-click purchasing was also an objective. Where trust existed, users quickly adopted the process. Where trust did not exist – either from a bad experience or not trusting the party being paid – one-click purchasing did not occur. Trust is built over time through small interactions and ensure the user remains in control while gaining the simplicity of the one-click experience.
Awareness is the third component. Users typically don’t believe simple engagement is possible, they need to see it to believe it. Before customized algorithms were created, no one would have believed a custom home feed on Facebook would contain content tailored to their previous interactions. Once awareness occurred, few people remember what it was like before. Before phone numbers were stored on a phone, no one thought there would be a way to call without punching in 10 digits. Awareness and seeing it for the first time quickly caused the change in behavior.
We continue to focus on the importance of simplicity as the Here I Am app is constantly updated. Paying close attention to how users interact with the app is crucial in determining what needs to be added or removed. Simplicity is much easier said than done, but is beautiful when achieved successfully.