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Uncharted Waters: Why it’s Important to Design for Newcomers

Priyama BaruaPriyama Barua is an Experience Strategy Director at Mad*Pow, a strategic design agency. In her efforts to improve people’s experiences, Priyama employs a range of human-centered, experience-led, service design approaches that can change the strategic direction of large Fortune 500 member companies.

Priyama’s talk at Big Design Conference 2020 explores the importance of designing for newcomers.

Here is how Priyama describes her talk:

Design professionals must consider various universal design lenses – users on mobile devices, users with physical and cognitive impairments, users with limited technological use – but are we missing an important lens? Just as the designing for accessibility lens makes the experience better for all users, considering “newcomer” needs can improve experiences for all users.

As designers, we rely heavily on users’ mental models formed by their own perceptions and past experiences. But what if an experience is entirely new to them? What if they’re an absolute first-time user – a “newcomer”?

Priyama Barua is inspired to champion this lens after learning about the experiences of people who come to the United States for the first time: students, tourists, business people, immigrants, patients, H1B workers, and so on. Imagine the hundreds of new interactions, decisions, and transactions they face each day in shopping, commuting, banking, traveling, going to hospitals, or even visiting amusement parks.

How are you designing multi-channel experiences of the future to ensure that you are considering people who might be interacting with services and products for the first time?

When you design for extreme users, such as experts and newcomers, you make things easier to use and learn for everyone. Make the extreme mainstream.

You will enjoy Priyama’s talk at this year’s Big Design Conference–newcomers (and experts) are welcome!

View the conference schedule and speakers. Join us on LinkedIn.

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