Thoughts on UX Design
For companies, standing out in today’s global, internet market can be extraordinarily difficult. Customers have never had more options for what they can buy and where they can buy it from. As a result, it is futile for most companies to compete based on price alone. Instead, many companies have tried to distinguish themselves by creating a higher-quality product. However, even that is not always enough. In many fields there are many companies producing products all of of similar quality. Today, there is a new competitive advantage that is allowing select companies to stand out from the rest. That advantage is user experience.
User experience is a term coined by Don Norman while he was working for Apple. He states:
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.”
This definition appears very is simple in theory, but has encountered various difficulties in its application.
While, ideally, the user experience would be considered at every level of interaction with the product or service, this is not always a realistic object for companies. Some companies may have the incentive and the resources to invest in creating a holistic user experience. However, the average company has many constraints that limit their ability to cater to every aspect of the user experience. In these situations, it is necessary to evaluate the appropriate trade offs to make. The end goal is to create the best user experience to the extent that it benefits the business goals of the company.
The concept of user experience has also struggled to translate into a clear job description. The day-to-day role of a UX designer is being continual debated. As evidenced by the countless blog-posts, infographics, and video explanations, no strong consensus has been reached yet. For the time being it seems both employers and employees are adapting this title to suit their own interests. The fluidity of this job title is certainly frustrating for some but yet exciting for others.
I for one am excited about the possibilities!