What is User Experience?
For most, user experience is this unseen force that governs the way we think, feel, or use things.
Like the difference between film and cinema (yes, there’s a difference), user experience doesn’t necessarily relate to the product itself, but more to the interactions we have with or leading up to the product’s use (and beyond).
Here’s a quick overview of film and cinema.
What is film?
Film is a product.
Users interact with films by watching them.
Users read reviews about films and their performance.
Users form a perception of the film based on variables inside the film.
Films can be watched from anywhere.
Film content doesn’t affect your experience.
What is cinema?
Cinema is an experience.
Access to the cinema is an experience.
Purchasing cinema tickets is an experience.
Interacting with cinema staff is an experience.
Sitting in comfy chairs at the cinema is an experience.
To have a cinema experience, you must visit the cinema.
The takeaway here is that even if the film is great, your cinema experience will dictate if you ever go back.
Imagine you’re watching your all-time favorite film, but you’re watching it in a different cinema and the chairs are uncomfortable, the staff are rude, and the speakers are fuzzy.
What will you do? Well, chances are you won’t go back to that cinema, you’ll go back to your old cinema (or maybe a new one entirely).
That’s the magic of user experience. Interactions change our perceptions, even if we’re unaware of this at the time.
When we’ve come across an awesome product, whether that’s a restaurant or a new social network, if the experience is bad, we’ll go elsewhere.
After all, there’s bound to be another restaurant or social app that can offer us a better experience. It’s no longer enough to have an amazing product or idea. To retain users and grow, the experience has to be amazing and delightful.
In a few short lessons, you’ll not only have a better understanding of online and offline user experience, you’ll also be able to identify and learn more about your users than ever before.
In the meantime, here’s a few articles I highly recommend to broaden your knowledge:
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