Here are some lessons in creating magical designs from Peter Smart from Fantasy Interactive.
These are drawn from his Awwwards video, Creating Magic.
Minimum Love-able Product
We all know what an MVP is. It’s the worst thing that provides still provides value that we can release to our users. If we have more respect for our users and ourselves as designers, we will give them potentially much more.
If we ship an MVP, it’s extremely difficult to iterate from something that’s embarrassing to something that’s magical. Once we set our hand to the first design and ship it, we have created inertia that is hard to escape from.
Convention is Permission for Better
We love design because we see the opportunity to create something that’s better than the status quo. Don’t be stuck in today’s patterns for interaction or UI. Perhaps don’t even feel constrained by your design system. Use it until it breaks, then make it better. Don’t be replaceable by an AI designer that can compose widgets.
Draw from the Real World
Don’t rely on the iOS interaction guidelines or guidelines for the other platforms that you’re on. User interaction has existed far before that. Make interactions feel natural and human.
Think in Flows Not Screens
It’s easy to approach work or divide work into features then stack them together into loose experiences. Instead, think more wholistically. Consider the desired outcome and the full experience, include transitionary states.
Less But Better
Get down to the essentials. Make the user of your product feel like they are interacting with the very essence of what a thing or activity is. It’ll be empowering and feel right.
Fill it With Life
If you’re full of joy and excitement when designing a thing, your user will be full of joy and excitement when they use it. Pay attention to those emotions to know if you’re on the right track.