How additional workflows can help increase usability
Redundancy is typically seen as a negative thing. We can all remember getting back a school writing assignment with notes about redundant sentences. It seems many of us tend to apply this same thinking into the flows and features we create - but what if we reframe redundancy into abundance?
We talk about “great ux” as seamless, intuitive, and delightful. We can define designing with abundance as providing users with features, workflows and options that all do similar things. This helps to cater to a broader range of users and can really help neurodivergent users succeed in finding meaningful value from your product.
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Let’s go over a few examples of products that give users abundance.
Asana’s multiple workflows
I am constantly impressed by Asana’s design team and their investment in creating additional workflows for their users. If you are not familiar Asana is a project management and collaboration platform, and they have several ways to organize your work.
For example they have a board feature & calendar feature. You can easily swap between both views. Having this power will help users who might have a hard time processing one type of visual over another. Two people with very different brains can look at the same list of tasks and collaborate but in a visual that helps them process that information.
Create a new project - allows you to pick a default view
Spotify’s Create a Playlist
Spotify has a smaller but good example of this same concept of abundance. In the screenshot below there are two ways to create a new playlist. One is a simple straight forward way a button in the main nav, and one way to create a playlist from a song.
If you go from “Create a Playlist” you will get a new blank playlist with a default title - ready and asking you to add some content to this playlist.
If you created a new playlist from the submenu based on a song your new playlist looks slightly different. It has the name of that song, and recommended songs based on that song.
I love these two flows, while some might see this as redundant, there is a clear benefit to users. These two different creation points allows users to create a playlist based on their mental model and goal at the time. Some might want to just create a new playlist based on an idea, but some might want to based on a song and Spotify supports both of these mindsets.
Change your mindset to abundance instead redundant. Additional workflows for the same end goal easily increases usability. For neurodivergent users it can help address the needs of how an individual can and wants to process information. If you only offer a user one solution this could force them to use additional tools or find workarounds to really find value in your product. Having a mindset that these flows are redundant will limit the amount of empathy you can have for your customers.
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