ŁT

Design office of
Łukasz Tyrała

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🌩 · Kraków

2022-06-19

Why following interaction and interface patterns of competitors might not be a good idea for apps and software that are tools?

Following well established interaction patters is important, so people can use their mental models of how things work, and the elements of the interface ale pliant. This is true for many use cases like basic behaviour of HTML elements (what can be clicked, what is the most important thing on this page), fundamental interactions (how do I move from one page to another or what to expect from checkout process), or critical use cases, well established within a certain industry.

Following what other do or how {this big FAANGM thing} works might be a good thing for consumer apps. The once that are a mere interface for media or communication with others.

It is not as obvious for tools – this kind of software that people use in their work. We could use enterprise-grade or b2b or business applications as a synonym for tools. In the end what differentiates tools from consumer apps are:

Because of that following direct competitors might not be a great ux strategy nor reference, because:

When working on tools, to not fall into a trap of what direct competitors do, because their interaction and interface patterns might not be as great for people as you think. And:

For tools (enterprise-grade, business software, utility apps, b2b) the most important thing is to know your audience – how and what they work – and to experiment frequently to learn what works for _your_ users.

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