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A Good User Experience is About More than Users

How and why to consider the larger context of product decisions

Alison Berent-Spillson
Published in
6 min readJun 12, 2019


Over the past several years, some serious work has been done to define User Experience as a field. As with any good definition, part of the discussion has focused on what UX is not:

In the spirit of these alliterative decrees, I would like to add another:

UX is not only about Users

User experience is more than just the user

User experience is not just about a product’s users — or at least, it shouldn’t be. From a purist perspective, it is entirely possible for a UX designer or researcher to focus their efforts entirely on the user’s experience with a product. It is also sometimes necessary for us to become an advocate for the user within our larger product teams. When priorities compete, it is within the definition of our job to highlight how a technology or profit driven decision might impact our users.

But as the UX profession matures, and we begin asking for more influence over the what in the product decision making process…



Alison Berent-Spillson
The Startup

Design researcher, product strategist, and cognitive scientist with a PhD in neuroscience. See my work at: