It’s not me, it’s you: Breaking up with your device

How writing a love/hate letter to a product can uncover what is and isn’t working.

I wrote this a couple of years back, but this methodology still holds up today as a way of understanding the relationship between tech and human behavior.

Experience designers at Moment really enjoy writing, drawing, and explaining. In fact, we love it so much that we crafted a whole experience design lunch around writing letters to one of our products. These letters helped us to bring our product to life, and communicate our deep love or hatred for it. In essence, each of us wrote either the classic love letter or the bitter break-up letter to our product.

So, what’s the point?

Early on in the design process, product teams can ask current users to write a version of a love or break-up letter to their product in order to uncover what is working well and what is not resonating with users. This style of writing helps users not only tell a story of what features they connect with the most, but why they find them so helpful. In contrast, knowing what bugs a user the most about the product helps to uncover how severe an issue may be.

If users are eager to participate, then the love/break-up letter exercise will really show the product team how passionate people are about their product. This goes beyond the typical guerrilla interview of asking open-ended questions and constantly probing for what may or may not be the root of what your users are trying to communicate. Users will come right out with the truth, hopefully in an entertaining way, too!

We’ve decided to feature our love/break-up letters for you. The first is the introductory love letter to our Moment Design Lunch. The rest of the letters concentrate on one product in particular. Though the exercise can have members choose their own product to write about, we decided to focus on the same product in order to gather varying opinions. Can you guess the product?

Yeah, it’s the iPhone.

Originally published at

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