Blog Opinionated Design; if you ple...
Last Updated At: 01/05/2024

Opinionated Design; if you please everyone, you will please no one

Dive into the world of Opinionated Design in digital product creation. Discover how embracing a strong, clear point of view in design and functionality can lead to a more consistent, efficient, and user-centric product.

Bold and distinct header showcasing Opinionated Design principles with unique fonts and layouts for a blog on digital product uniqueness.

What is Opinionated Design?

Working in an opinionated way means having a strong, clear point of view on how things should be done. It's like saying, "This is the best way to do this specific thing, and we're sticking to it." Instead of considering every possible option or listening to every single user. You follow a specific path or method because you believe it's the most effective or efficient. It's about having a strong opinion on what works best and applying that approach consistently in your work.

This means not everyone will love your product. But the users who do are fanatical.

"... a product that’s deeply loved by a small group of early users is a product that can scale. I agree. And in fact, I believe it’s more important to have 100 people who LOVE your product than a million who just sort of like it. ..." – Reid Hoffman on Customer love is all you need

When I started building Tooling Studio, I had a clear conviction that I should adhere to opinionated design ethics as I want my product to have a strong, and clear way of doing things. It's about making deliberate choices based on a specific viewpoint, rather than being neutral or overly flexible which kills simplification. Imagine it as giving your product a unique personality with a set of preferred colors, fonts, and layouts. Again, not everyone will love it. But if you try to please everyone, you will please no one.

How I’m including this Framework into Kanban Tasks:

I’m currently building a curated suite of tools to enhance the productivity of users who are already using Google Workspace. It’s an obvious improvement on the existing limitations of Google Tasks. The first product under construction is Kanban Tasks.

This tool helps users to effortlessly oversee and organize their Google Tasks through an intuitive Kanban Board interface. It will soon help in establishing and sharing several boards to facilitate team collaboration. It also allows fluid arrangement and rearrangement of tasks with a simple drag-and-drop functionality.

The way I embed the Opinionated Design Framework into the product is by embedding some elements of the ‘Get Sh*t Done’ approach. I’ll create a permanent ‘Get Work Done’ board, this board can’t be removed or renamed. Every task with a due date that falls into ‘This Week’ or ‘Today’ will be visible on this board. Next to that, I will make it way easier for my users to add a Due Date to a task. Increasing efficiency and streamlining the working progress.

I believe that an approach like this can lead to a more cohesive and memorable user experience, as the design is guided by a distinct vision or opinion.

The Benefits of Opinionated Design for Your Product

In the context of creating digital products, working in an opinionated way can be beneficial for several reasons:

Consistency: Having a set of strong opinions ensures a consistent and unified UX throughout the product. Users can navigate and interact with the product more intuitively when design and functionality follow a clear and cohesive vision.

Efficiency: Opinionated frameworks or methodologies can streamline many processes. By adhering to a set of predefined rules and best practices, teams can work more efficiently because every user will see similar things, reducing the time and effort spent on communication and or decision-making.

User-Centric Design: Opinionated approaches often stem from a deep understanding of user needs and behaviors. By committing to a specific viewpoint, teams can prioritize user experience, ensuring that the product is tailored to meet the expectations and preferences of the target audience.

Rapid Iteration: Opinionated frameworks can provide a solid foundation for rapid iteration. Since many decisions are pre-made based on established opinions, teams can focus on refining and improving specific aspects of the product without getting bogged down by every decision point.

Clarity in Communication: An opinionated approach fosters clear communication within the team. Everyone understands the guiding principles and can align their efforts toward a common goal. It minimizes misunderstandings and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the product's direction.

However, it's important to strike a balance. Being too rigid in an opinionated approach might lead to overlooking valuable insights or innovations. Therefore, teams should periodically reassess their opinions, considering user feedback and industry advancements to ensure the continued relevance and success of the digital product.

Wrapping Up

This method is sure to give a clear, specific vision. It’s all about giving your product a unique personality with a set of preferred styles and features. The implementation of opinionated design can offer a consistent user experience, as every design element is chosen deliberately to align with a distinct viewpoint. The result is a visually appealing product that stands out and resonates with like-minded users.

Originally published on my LinkedIN

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