Monday, November 12, 2012

The UX of Everyday Things

All your everyday things have a user experience and some are better than others.

Of the dozens -- sometimes hundreds -- of interactions with things that you have in a day, how many are:

o  Invisible to you: they are things you just do, like opening your front door with a key or washing dishes in the sink.

o  Annoying to you: the door on the washing machine still squeaks every time you open it, and there's no clearly simple way to fix it.

o  Delightful to you: Purely joyful and magical; as much a source of delight now as the first time you did it.

Here are some clearly improvable UX experiences from everyday life:

o  When you get out of your car and ding your door on the barrier next to the pump.

o  When you have to look at three different screens at the supermarket self checkout to scan, swipe, and sign.

o  When you are listening to music on your phone and a notification cuts into it.

Here are some lovely UX experiences that are engaging, delightful, and easily reproducible:

o DMs on Twitter: one of the least spammy channels left

o  Making coffee by hand with all the properly configured paraphernalia.

o  Baking with cinnamon.

o Reading a book.

The constant challenge for #UX is to make more experiences better. How?

o  Talk to people.

o  Listen.

o  Design with empathy for the people who will be using the things that you make.

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