What are the biggest pitfalls?
Believing that data can offer you some kind of an absolute truth and drawing too quick conclusions from it.
Observing any single metrics alone is not going to give you the big picture. For example, it is easy to increase the amount of visitors or subscribers by using clever design, but if these people do not really wish to receive e-mails from you in the future, you’re not serving the right purpose. It will fix the metrics (“Get more subscribers”), but does not further your cause. A/B testing, for example, is one way of optimization but can lead you to concentrate in an individual interaction that is irrelevant to the entity. Also, utilizing existing data just for the sake of using it will not lead you to the right results. So again, try to make sure you’re doing the right thing and asking the right questions.
What kind of data do you use in designing for Digital Foodie?
We use data actively and always when it is available. We utilize both research data as well as data obtained from user tests. We get general data on how are products are used as well as more specific information regarding the business, the market environment and different user categories. Quantitative statistics give us a lot of information on what kind of user groups can be identified in our services. In addition, we get data from user testing on how people perceive a specific part of our service, how they use it and what kind of challenges they bump into.
Final question: for those aspiring to be a great designer, what are your best tips?
First of all, you have to be critical about both your own work as well as of others. You have to be able to receive criticism, justify your opinions and demand the same thing from others. Every person has their own opinion and none of them is absolutely right, including yours. Second, you have to truly want to do this. Nine-to-five mentality doesn’t work in this job. Finally, what I consider the most important quality of a designer: have empathy. When building a service, you really need to be able to put yourself in someone else’s position and understand the circumstances they’re coming from.
Thank you for the interview, Otto!