B2B products can no longer rely on functionality alone to create loyal customers. Since the advent of consumer smartphones, business people and consumers alike have grown accustomed to the innovations and polished experience originating in B2C markets, where people receive updates from leaders like Apple and Google on a yearly basis, with new interactions.
Creating Deep Delight
In 1940, Abraham Maslow developed the “hierarchy of needs,” which argues that foundational elements of human needs must be met before any higher level motivations can influence behavior, such as love, self-esteem, and creativity.
In much the same way, experiencing true, deep delight can only be achieved once all user needs are met, including functionality, reliability, usability, and pleasurability. With these met, a user can achieve a state of “flow” where they’re immersed and productive without distraction from their main task.
No matter the design differentiation, a design should be consistent with itself. As B2B products grow over time, it’s very common for design interactions and components to diverge, like tables and buttons. This creates disparate experiences that look and feel out of place, lowering user confidence and often creating confusion.
Staying consistent between apps in a suite is also vital as the platform scales up or integrates recent acquisitions.
In modern web development, you don’t even have to create a new design system from scratch. There are literally hundreds to choose from, all across the licensing spectrum. You can find dozens of them at (designsystemsrepo.com)[https://designsystemsrepo.com/design-systems/].
That said, if your products or portfolios differentiate based on design, we highly recommend creating one to keep your product’s reliably usable and user’s delighted.
If using a framework like ReactJS, your design system should encompass developed assets in a component library. To get started, we recommend using a platform like bit.dev or React Storybook. Popular design systems like Ant.design and Semantic-UI have fully open-sourced React components as well.