Many decisions and elements go into making a successful technology product/service.
In my opinion, getting the user experience:design equation right in an app or website is quite possibly the most important first step. I’ve discovered that it’s significantly harder than it seems at first.
A great user experience with mediocre design – useful but it might make your users trust your service less. And leaves room for a competitor to do it better. But this is still much better than…
A mediocre user experience but great design – this is the death knell. Shut shop or fix it. It’s only a matter of time before your users call it quits.
An average user experience with average design – eh, why even try?
Which leads me to..
A functional user experience (one that gets the user to accomplish what they came to your app for) paired with an intuitive (clean, no-frills – the frills just take good design over the edge, imho) design. This is the holy grail.
But how do you get there? And how do you know if you have it?
If there was an answer to that question, we’d all be rich and successful. Most of the time (at least in my experience), you have a faint idea that you have something good but won’t find out until the rubber meets the road, i.e., you put it through user testing and get feedback. That is when your approach is reinforced or you go back to the drawing board.