Building with No UX

Naveen Hariharan
4 min readDec 24, 2021

The principle of No UX I refer to here means the user having little or nothing to do to use a product. They may not even have to open up or visit the product and can carry on with their everyday work. I have spoken about what exactly I mean in more detail in my last article. Here, I would like to talk about how I believe we can build using this principle.

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As a PM the first thing we would need to do is check if making our app conform to this principle is a good idea. It must make sense for the user and the business, that the product works without keeping the user engaged. Once we are sure this would benefit us, then we have many different options to implement it.

Anticipate and complete actions

When we have information about what users do most frequently with different kinds of elements on the app, it would be possible to train models with past data to suit each users needs. The product can either suggest actions or perform them automatically. Feedback from users on these can be used to refine the model and do better.

Build seamless integrations

When your product is present where the user spends their most time, we make life easier for them. We must identify the ecosystems and anchor products where our users spend most time. This could be CRM systems, email systems or communication systems. Most of these are platforms which can be integrated and built on top of. Systems like Slack have commands to be invoked while chatting and bots. CRM systems allow integrating with buttons and workflows. Each such platform must be given individual attention, while building and maintaining, as users have different needs and expectations from each of them.

Tap into Voice Assistants

Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant are commonly used now. All of them also have a platform to build in the functionality we want. Alexa has new skills that could be built while Siri has voice commands that could be integrated. If your product has actions that are suitable, then you should consider incorporating them into voice assistants. You can do no greater favour to your users than helping them perform some common tasks without having to open up and navigate your product. If a simple voice command can get it done, nothing better.

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Workflow automation systems

Workflow automation systems are products with the sole aim of helping connect disparate systems into workflows the users actually need. The most popular one among these is Zapier. Users can configure automatic emails when some leads change status or can automatically post to an internal forum when a deal is closed. Sometimes, it is not possible to know how our users will eventually end up using the product. Exposing your product through a workflow automation system gives them the power to configure their action and forget about it — indirectly leading to no UX and maximum productivity.

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Expose APIs

As much as you try to anticipate and cater to user needs, the B2B SaaS world is filled with a lot of very specific and niche uses. It may not be possible to cater to all of them. To delight such users, you could provide your own product APIs for the users to expand and build on top of. They may be able to implement whatever niche use cases they see fit in their system. Most importantly they could completely automate it as per their needs. This is assuming they are businesses with sufficient know-how and able to engage a developer. This is the maximum level of flexibility that you can give, with the possibility of letting your users decide how they choose to experience the product.

Each of the methods mentioned aims to get the product and its interface out of the way and focus on what they aim to achieve. The user and their objectives are the focus, not the product.