Come for the features, stay for the experience

“Sprinkle some UX dust on it!”

First, it poses UX as a separate thing: that UX is somehow layered on top of a product, a separate layer that can be flipped on and off.

Utility, Usability, Beauty

Don Norman, patron saint of UX, uses technology, user experience, and marketing to represent this separation of concerns:

  • Utility: what can the user accomplish that they could not realistically accomplish before?
  • Usability: how comfortable is it for a user to apply this utility?
  • Beauty: how does it change the user’s internal affect — their mood, their frame of mind, and their view of themselves?
One of the many fabulous antique stools; this one’s for piano, and features an adjustable seat height. That’s more usability: letting users customize the seat for their needs, in this case to reduce fatigue.

False equivalences part 2: Locked In Users

This choice presumes a free and equal market: that customers have an arbitrary number of choices, each slightly different, and can freely move between them. In such a case, people will quickly gravitate to something even slightly better—something more beautiful, or something less unusable.

Not Even Wrong, Part 3: Success

Success is hard to measure. Well — that’s entirely not true. In capitalism, we have one metric: profitability. If something makes money, garners the most sales, we call it “successful”.

Blocks, blocks everywhere. Where’s Shakey when you need him?

How will users experience your product?

So now we’ve come full circle.



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Alex Feinman

Alex Feinman

Obligate infovore. All posts made with 100% recycled electrons, sustainably crafted by artisanal artisans. He/him/his.