Jake LaCaze

Design as marketing

The following is from a discussion prompt for the class Usability and User-Centered Design, part of my technical writing certificate program via Oregon State University. I thought it was worth turning into a blog post.

For a couple months or so, I’ve been testing the Racket app via TestFlight on iOS. This is a short-form audio app (The founders often refer to it as the audio version of TikTok) that is finding its identity. As that identity changes, so does the UX. The branding (name, logo, colors) is the only thing that has been consistent over my testing.

The app has started to come together better and become more consistent as the team has latched onto an identity. This aspect is something that sometimes gets lost in the development of apps and sites: What is the identity of this service? What do we want people to feel? Also, how does our marketing affect our design?

Seth Godin often writes about how marketing is no longer isolated to one department. Now, every department of your company has a hand in marketing. Every part of your app/site/service is part of your marketing. This is something I wish more companies kept in mind. I go crazy when companies tell us they care about users and customers yet have horrible apps and sites that were obviously not developed with humans in mind.

Also, how does your company respond to criticism of its design? These days, I try to let companies know when I find errors on their sites or apps. For one, it’s good practice for technical writing and UX design. But also, I’m trying to pay it forward because as someone who’s dabbled in design, I know how easy it is to overlook little things when you’re trying to juggle so much. I feel a deeper connection to a company when it responds and acknowledges my complaints, and maybe even makes the appropriate changes.

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