UX Design: Making a Joyful Experience

Don Norman

What is UX Design exactly? The term “user experience” was coined by Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher who was also the first to describe the importance of user-centered design (the notion that design decisions should be based on the needs and wants of users). Gube, J. (2010, October 5)

Designlab defines UX Design as, “The entirety of a user’s digital experience surrounding a product, as well as the sum total of choices that led there.” For the purpose of this article, I would like to tweak that definition slightly. UX Design is The entirety of a user’s digital experience surrounding a product, as well as the sum total of choices that led there enhancing the customer satisfaction by improving usability, ease of use, and most of all making it all a joyful experience.

The more I read about design and more specifically UX Design the more I run into this idea of making the experience a joyful one. In the article, A Brief History of User Experience Ali Rushdan Tariq challenges the reader to think about the last restaurant they went to and poses the following questions, “ What made you to choose that particular restaurant? What was your first impression as you walked in? Were you asked to wait till you were ushered to an available seat? How was the menu arranged? Did food come quickly enough? How did it taste? How was the customer service? Did your squaring up go smoothly? Would you go back again?” The author then states that the reader’s answer to these questions is the restaurant’s user experience. If your answers to any of the questions were negative ones than chances are you would not return to that particular restaurant. Especially when there are so many other restaurants to choose from.

In his TED Talk, The first secret of great design Tony Fadell spoke of a word of advice that Steve Jobs had told him and the other designers while working at Apple. He said that Steve told them to “Stay Beginners”. He then went on to explain that staying beginners meant to see the product through the eyes of the new customer with the purpose of making the user experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.

This is the heart of UX Design, “Joyful Experience”. Simply put, if the consumer does not have a joyful experience when using your product they will not come back for more. Isn’t that the goal of a service provider? To keep the consumer coming back for more. And if that is so, then the chief end of the service provider is to keep the consumer happy and make the process of interacting with their product as user-friendly and joyful as possible. And that is UX Design!

Gube, J. (2010, October 5). What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources.Retrieved from https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/10/what-is-user-experience-design-overview-tools-and-resources/

Tariq, A.R. (2015, February 26) A Brief History of User Experience [Web log post] Retrieved March 11, 2017 from http://blog.invisionapp.com/a-brief-history-of-user-experience/

[TED] (2015, June 3). The first secret of great design. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uOMectkCCs

[Untitled image of Ron Norman]. Retrieved March, 2017
 from https://www.ted.com/speakers/don_norman

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