How product-led growth is about effective interaction design

& how your design team can sky-rocket your growth

Say you are a user experience designer and you have a project with a tight deadline. You need to design 50 screens in the most efficient manner possible, and the software your office pays for is photoshop.

Assuming you have done your research, would you continue using Photoshop to complete the task, or would you switch to Figma?

You do not have to be a pro to tell me Figma would be your most sensible choice of software in this scenario.

In the reigning age of the internet, almost nothing can be a well-kept secret. There was a time when the decision to use particular software depended on the company. But that’s not the case anymore.

A company’s goal is business growth, and the person doing the actual task to grow your business is the best person to decide their choice of tools.

With a click of a button, we explore the net, keep up with trends, try out new software for ourselves and then decide if we want to download the paid version.

As a SaaS company, your software’s success is no longer solely dependent on sales executives, irrespective of how impactful they can be. It’s the USER who essentially decides your fate.

It brings us to a growth hack your product company needs to adopt today — The Product-Led Growth. So, what is Product-Led Growth (otherwise known as PLG)?

Product-Led Growth

Simply put, Product-led Growth is when your product is the most significant driver of your growth! All your business KPIs like acquisition, conversion, retention, and expansion are directly taken care of by the user experience.

If users have a positive experience while interacting with a product, they tend to return to the same product to meet their needs. If their experience is exceptional, they would even recommend it to friends in the same field.

Through simple user experience and word-of-mouth, your product has built brand loyalty in its customers and is now a hit in the market.

The shift from sales-led to product-led growth demands tremendous improvement in product experiences.

All you need to do is ensure you have a strong design team that can build seamless and effective interaction design.

John Kolko, Author of Thoughts on Interaction Design, says, “Interaction Design creates a dialogue between a person and a product, system, or service. This dialogue is both physical and emotional in nature and is manifested in the interplay between form, function, and technology as experienced over time.”

5 interaction criteria that your product must cover

An interaction design academic called Gillian Crampton Smith first introduced the four dimensions of interaction design. Kevin Silver later added on the 5th dimension. These five dimensions of interaction design are your essential marketing tools, so take a look:

D1: Words

We use words to communicate information on a page. These words must be clear and concise to provide the correct amount of information to help users take action. An overload or elaborate text might confuse the user and demotivate them from moving further. Impactful text is seen in buttons, text labels, tags, headings, help boxes, menus, etc.

D2: Visual Representations

A simple picture helps bring words to life. Visuals like icons, emojis, images, videos, typography, and other graphics help create an identity and visual brand. They also paint a picture of the words. Using charts and infographics communicates extensive statistics in an easily readable manner.

D3: Physical Objects or Space

Physical objects are a quantifiable medium through which users can interact with a product or service and space in a medium within which a user interacts with a product or service. Consider the best digital medium like mobile, iPad, or web for your particular product while considering your target audience’s environment and use cases. When it comes to space, the look and feel of how you represent the information on your physical medium is crucial for smooth interaction.

D4: Time

Time is a form of measurement. It tells the user the progress they have made on a particular task. A loading icon or gif informs users of the action taking place on a screen during the delay in the desired response. Over time, the media may change in form. Including motion and sound helps users comprehend that change in media when they interact with a feature.

D5: Behaviour

Behavior is of the user and the product both. It measures how well the previous four elements work together to propel the user to take the right action to reach their goals. It also provides an emotional response as feedback on the efficiency of the interaction.

Application of the 5 dimensions

You must take into consideration all these five dimensions while creating the core features of your product, such as:

Onboarding —This is the chance to create your first impression. It is a make-or-break situation where the user decides if they want to create an account on your product or not. Break it down into steps and make the onboarding fun!

Continued learning —Once you have acquired the user base, your next step should be activation/conversion. This happens when you guide the user to their first mind-blowing feature and help them discover the rest of the features one after the other.

If it’s complex software with constant updates, you need to provide helpful tips and quick guided tutorials throughout the app journey.

In-app support & personalization —The highest drop rate on software happens when the user is stuck on a particular feature or loses trust in the product. Retention can be ensured by studying the user’s behavior and auto-suggesting features for ongoing projects.

Feedback loops —You can make the user experience delightful by providing timely feature nudges, educational recommendations, and progress acknowledgment. Making the conversation human would motivate the user to refer the app to their peers and expand their presence.

By applying the above product-led growth metrics and design principles to their core features, see how these three companies build products that sell themselves through user interactions.

SaaS companies fueled by Product-led Growth in 2022

The artificial boundary between B2B and B2C developers has slowly faded away. These companies saw a significant boom during the pandemic when the only possible form of marketing was online. These are some metrics published by product-led growth collective:

Slack: The revenue of this business communication tool has gone up from zero to 7 billion valuations 43% of the Fortune 100 pay for Slack and are loud advocates because of their company-wide devotion to its great experience.

Airtable: Reported $20 million in revenue in 2018 and created Airtable Universe to scale the inspiration of use cases, a responsibility usually held by customer success.

Figma: Closed a $40 million Series C in 2019 thanks to its product-led approach to solving designer pain points like project organization, file management, and real-time collaboration.

DevRev: Imagine if Jira + Zendesk + Slack had a love child. Founded in 2021 by Dheeraj Pandey and Manoj Agarwal, this Developer-customer Relationship Management (Dev CRM) platform is the new Self-driving work software that empowers developers to build, support, and grow their business through code.

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