The great King Arthur and his sword Excalibur has much folklore around it. One of the well-known stories was that Excalibur was stuck in a stone, it was believed that a chosen one will pull the sword and bring peace. Many tried pulling it out but failed, then came Arthur who pulled it out easily and went on to become a great king. Some say the sword was magical, some say it was lucky but was it really? If Arthur did not wield the sword; would it be valued? The greatness was not in the sword but the one who used it. An ordinary stick in the hands of a highly skilled martial artist can be very deadly; else it has no value of its own. So did people experience Arthur’s or the sword’s greatness? The answer to that question is quite easy; actually.
Let’s take a metaphorical approach to understand the story of King Arthur and his sword. UX designers are people who design experiences for others to experience. They make any product work seamlessly to make the life of people easier. They strive and thrive on people’s want and work to satisfy their needs. They get their own benefits, but the idea of making people happy is the crux of their ideology. These people are the ideal designers, worthy to be successful. They have mastered the art of designing user-centric ideas by understanding empathy, and the psychology of perception, biases, user behavior etc. On the contrary, other designers who are equally skilled may design products around their ideology without considering the needs of people. They expect people to accept any product they design. Sometimes people do accept such products, but the life of such products deteriorates quickly and it fades away as fast as it made its way into the lives of the people. Memorable experiences linger with us for a longer time, and people stay connected to it. The feeling of using the product again is a clear indication that people loved the experience. A tool is helpful merely in realizing a product, but unless it is designed on the solid foundation of user experience, the product is bound to fail. Like Arthur’s sword, the greatness does not lie in the tool, but in the hands of the designer, who uses and utilizes all its features aptly : A tool in the hands of a highly skilled designer would mean the product will be effective. A brilliant tool in the hands of an amateur designer would make no impact, whereas an expert designer would create an amazing product even with a crude tool.
King Arthur was a kind, noble ruler who cared about his people. He wanted to make their life easier, for which he had to fight battles and win. Excalibur was his tool, a sword which rose to fame because Arthur was a brilliant swordsman, he wielded the sword to perfection. He had an uncanny ability to read situations and make decisions which would alter the outcomes. He would have been a great ruler even if he had an ordinary sword. The sword did not make him a legend, he made the sword a legend.