An example of real-world delight

A photo of a receipt from Daisy, a restaurant in Margate, Kent, UK, showing information including weather, tides, trains, postcode and taxi details.

An example of real-world delight

A little while ago, a friend shared with me her receipt from a restaurant called Daisy in Margate, Kent. Rather than being anything about the food or cocktails there, my friend (who is also called Daisy) knew I would be interested because it was one of the best examples I’ve seen of what we in User Experience call “delighters”, which can be the thing which can guarantee the success of your product, and even lift it above the competition.

To understand what delighters are, you have to know about the Kano model, a theory for product development devised in by Noriaki Kano in the 1980s to define customer satisfaction. It groups product work around three main areas; basic needs, performance needs and delighters, corresponding to the way in which user perceive them. To summarise their meanings:

  • Basic needs are the absolutely must-have functions that a product must include in order to successfully address the needs of the user. An example of this would include having a seat on a bicycle, so that the user can sit on it. Not having these would constitute an abject failure in addressing the basic needs of the user.
  • Performance needs describe the continuing improvement of functionality in the product. In our bicycle analogy, this might include providing rubber grips on the handlebars so that the user can comfortably hold the handles absorbing shocks, and prevent their hands sliding off if they get sweaty. Not an absolute basic need, but a definite improvement that can become a fundamental expectation from that point.
  • Delighters are the extras which provide added value for users. For our bicycle, this could be the addition of mudflaps, so that the rider isn’t splashed with mud when riding off-road.

In building a project, it’s clear that addressing the basic needs of the user are fundamental for success. If you don’t have them, you will have omitted important must-have functionality, and that would prevent the user from achieving their most important tasks. However, once you have those basic needs identified, appreciation of what could bring extra value might well be what sets your product out from the competition.

These needs are recognised in the user research stage of the production process, as we speak to users about their experiences, and identify opportunities where we can help them with our work, sorting them into “must-haves” (basic needs) and “nice-to-haves” (delighters). Working with our project team, we can then use the combination of business needs, user needs and technological restrictions to define the shape of our solution, and produce something which satisfies those three, as well as hopefully giving space to include a few extras that delight our users, make them excited about our product, and increase sales and satisfaction.

(For clarity, the photo above is only part of the receipt, and just shows the delighters of information on weather, tide (Margate is on the South East cost of England, so this might help inform customers if they want to go for a stroll on the beach after their meal), train times, taxi phone number, and postcode so you can plan your own taxi home. Of course, I’ve omitted the part of the receipt that shows the actual basic needs of the cost of the meal, as that’s private to my friend.)

If you’d like my help with ensuring success in your products and teams, please get in touch, and we can discuss your requirements.

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