The best way to design successful digital products is by understanding how users’ behaviour changes according to their mode, according to MEX.

Modes can be defined as the common ways people engage with digital products depending on their intent, environment, time and technology constraints. Where more simplistic measures such as designing for a particular device type or screen size may fail, understanding modes can deliver design insights closest to the users’ true needs.

It is these modes which explain why a user’s behaviour may vary substantially from app to app and from time of day to time of day. There are times when people are explorers and times when they are consumers or creators or communicators. In each of these modes, design should adapt to their needs.

As a starting point, MEX are currently researching six modes:

  1. Explore: Discovering novelty on an evolving path
  2. Augment: Enhancing activity with additional layers
  3. Communicate: Exchanging meaning with others
  4. Consume: Absorbing and interpreting information
  5. Control: Simplifying life through commands and automation
  6. Create: Originating something with expressive or functional qualities