The Better Horse Argument
Designers, stakeholders may often claim that customers don’t know what they want. They may even use this famous (paraphrased) quote to back up their argument:
“If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.”
Although there is some dispute that Henry Ford, to whom this quote is attributed to ever actually said it, there is great truth behind it: Ford did indeed build a faster horse.
There is also truth in the idea that customers don’t know what they actually want.
Your job is not to ask what customers want, but to deliver what they need.
The Dancing Bear
A failure in UX design can lead to something called a 'dancing bear product'. This means the idea is great, but the UX design is poor. However, the product is so good users cannot do without it – despite the terrible interaction design. This is a fluke or a happy accident – and is known as a 'dancing bear'.
Naturally, we want our products and services to succeed thanks to great ideas and great design – not despite the poor or inadequate design.
Why User Experience Matters
The user is the make or break for products and processes. The old mantra of enterprise technology ‘build it and they will come’ is challenged by today’s switched-on, tech-savvy users. They are accustomed to and demand experiences that are easy to use, relevant and personalised.
If they don’t get these things from you they will find alternatives. Customers always have other options. However, being “best” is subjective. Think of the mobile phone and the ever ongoing debate between Apple and Android. A user who has a good experience is less likely to look for alternatives.
Users consider a better experience to be superior - even to a more technically adept product (within reason).
The Foundations of User Experience
Good design makes people’s lives better. UX sets out to achieve this. Make it easy – your designs should improve the lives of users in some way. If it’s difficult or awkward, you’re doing it wrong.
Key questions to ask yourself:
- How does this improve the user’s experience?
- How does it solve the user’s problems?
Usability is the foundation on which everything is built.
Welcome to your online learning for Customer Focus and UX. In this module, through online learning, your live event and workplace apply activities, you will explore concepts, techniques and methodologies that underpin user experience.
You will also develop your knowledge of the process involved in:
- Requirements Engineering
This online learning path will cover the following areas:
UX Design Principles
Customer Reporting and Project Appraisal
Through the discover and practise activities in this learning path, you will begin to build evidence and it will help you to prepare for your live event, which is guided by a Tutor (Activity 3.2) which will continue your development in this area.
Following the live event, you’ll have the opportunity to apply your learning in a workplace based assignment (Activity 3.3).
When you’re ready, click on step one below to begin.