The anatomy of love (building stuff that people just can't get enough of)

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'Love is a many splendored thing', just as Willie Shakespeare said. However, what exactly is love and where does it come from? Could it simply be a chemical reaction that occurs in the brain or is it something more? When it comes to digital products, what's the magic formula, what are the ingredients for that secret sauce?

Where's the sweet spot?

What is it that truly makes users fall head over heels in love?

It may go deeper than mere visuals...

'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder', so another saying goes and the fact is that a user’s visual attraction to the digital products that you build are only a part of it.

Being visually appealing/easy on the eyes can be vitally important but although looks do play a part, there are other things to keep in mind.

If you’re developing an app, try thinking about all aspects of the product holistically (much like a person). Human beings (generally your primary user base) tend to be attracted to balanced/symmetrical features.

Try to go through the apps and games available in the app stores and think of them as human beings with their own faces, bodies, voices and personalities. Does a particular app seem more like that annoying guy with the buggy eyes that likes to jump the queue at the supermarket? Or does it maybe possess its own unique charm?

Philosophical discussions around the nature of love and beauty have been around for centuries and what we can probably say by now is that it is all really quite subjective. There is generally no one size fits all definition and the best that you can hope to do is to give love some form of meaning and distill it into some sort of a science.

You may have put a lot of thought into developing your app. Now, you need to connect that to the people that you hope will use it and maybe, just maybe even fall in love with it.

Getting someone to fall in love with you, requires you to step outside of yourself for a moment. To stop being so 'me' oriented and instead slip into his sneakers (or her heels).

Understand your user and what makes him/her tick/turns him/her on.

You've probably thought about user experience and yes, user interface design can be a part of it. Just as you make an impression with the type of clothes that you wear or the type of perfume you spray on, you want to make a good, lasting impression.

Here are three other things to pay attention to in your quest for true love and acceptance.

Learn to do it yourself

In much the same way that many of the core components for Microsoft's early products were built by Bill Gates and how the early version of Facebook was built by Mark Zuckerberg, the quality of love that you put into your app can radiate out to your users. Love can be contagious and sometimes, even if you were to try to communicate your vision to a coder or developer with all the chops, he/she may not be able to get that raw feeling that only you as the creator has. Much like a piece of art or a symphony, you have (or should have) the vision for exactly what it is that you want to create. Having said that, not everyone has the ability to develop an app and unless you have the patience to learn a programming language from scratch, it probably wouldn’t hurt to get some consultation or outside help.

Nicheify

Many of the best apps out there actually only really do one thing. The difference is that, often, the best apps make it a point to do that one thing really really well. Love should be simple and you should not try cramming your app full of unnecessary functions and features. Try doubling down on a simple concept, like an app for fishermen (or fisherwomen) or an app for workaholics or family men...
It may sound like it’d be difficult to find your users or 'tribe' but you may be pleasantly surprised. After all, haven't you heard of a love triangle?

Response time and stability

On the topic of simplicity, many of the greatest apps and digital products let their users do what they need to do in just a few taps and swipes. They don’t crash, are illogically fast and are pretty much invisible. There’s no point in having a beautifully decorated, highly aesthetic application that crashes every time you try to get to the search bar. Remember, people are getting more and more accustomed to speedy response times and really, much of what we love about things that we use is about how they function (although that may not be all there is to it).

*We are a UX-focused team of developers and designers. Our goal is making our products understandable at any level. The result is web and mobile applications that take minutes to learn and are easy to implement in any company, big or small. Find out more about Soda In Mind here