Digital practices

Research, design, test, repeat. Here are 10 pieces of advice to keep in mind during the digital design process.

    EF’s digital presence is a vital link between us and our customers. It’s how we connect with the world, whether that’s someone who Googled “learn English abroad” for the first time or a Small Stars parent checking out their child’s progress. So it’s important that we create a digital ecosystem that looks, feels and behaves like us.

    1. Put the user first

    Empathise with your users and figure out what need your digital project is addressing. You are designing for users, not stakeholders.

    2. Battle confusion

    Confusion is the enemy of good interactive design. If someone doesn’t understand the intent of your design, reconsider your approach. Don’t overwhelm the user with complexity, do refine what matters.

    3. Design for emotion, not just rationale

    Immeasurable aspects are valuable, too. Emotion is the most powerful tool to elevate, strengthen and endear our relationship with our users. Make sure you design for the heart as much as you design for the mind.

    4. Think LEGO, not Play-Doh

    Digital is dynamic and change is constant. Does your design acknowledge this reality? Is your design modular? Can you add and remove units easily without destroying the elegance of the site?

    5. Direct a movie, not a snapshot

    Design flows, not single screens. Digital is fluid and you should always design any screen as part of a flow.

    6. Make mental maps

    Interaction design has to be instructive and have clear affordances. Make it easy for your user to get a clear overview of your digital application to make sure they never get lost.

    7. Always consider the complete ecosystem

    Think holistically and consider your digital design as part of the larger ecosystem. The digital puzzle is always bigger than your specific design.

    8. Data can be dangerous

    Data analysis is an important tool to optimise your digital touchpoints. However, it is easy to draw false conclusions. Always stay objective, and enlist an expert who can best interpret the results. Balance your quantitative data with qualitative insights from your users.

    9. A/B testing a train won’t build a space ship

    Know when you are calibrating vs. innovating and align your process accordingly. Although A/B testing is a crucial tool in digital design one has to understand that it is a calibration tool, not an innovation tool.

    10. Digital design is never done

    Digital is ever-evolving. Keep learning, iterating and improving your designs beyond the project launch.