I’ve been a fanboy of user-centered design since I first learned the term, circa 1997. Not a practitioner, mind you, but a huge fanboy. And as you know, fanboys are more dangerous as their passion tends to run deep, if slightly untethered by reality.

What I loved so much about the discussion was how far it has progressed over the past five years. The discussion now is about how it applies to just about everything, and that’s what today is all about. Brand design. Event design. Ergonomic design. Retail design. Package design. Interface design. Graphic design. Information design.

The world would be a far better place if it were driven from the premise of being user-centered, orienting around the needs and wants of the audience. Full stop.

The fascinating thing about design now is that experiences are organic, highly personalized, and customized to the moment. Experience design is moving increasingly toward adaptive design, apertures in which audiences have discrete needs and wants which can be explicitly accommodated.

The result? We now create experiences that engage and deliver value both for the intended audience as well as the brand–a true value exchange, in which everyone is better off for having had the interaction.

And so, as we continue to push the frontiers of creativity across all interaction spaces, one thing remains inviolate: the fundamental power of user-centered design tethering us to what matters to people, which is the most important reality of all.

Join us Tuesday, May 19th to discuss Obsessing Experience as we partner with Contagious to bring Now/Next/Why to Chicago. Tickets available at chicago.nownextwhy.com

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