First, let me preface this with the following:
I am not a UX expert, nor am I a UI expert. Nor can I tell you the major differences between the two.
My primary job is in Product Management. I love managing roadmaps, budgets to ensure we are successful and working with development teams to ensure the processes are smooth. I also love working in places where I have an impact on the organization. I’ve been in companies before where the contributions I put forward were met with resistance – just has I have been in jobs where the ideas have been welcomed and able to be used. What I have never done though is true UX/UI.
Now, that’s not to say that I’m not sensitive to what it is. Or how it’s used. I have worked with some amazing UX/UI designers in the past that have really jaded me towards being sensitive towards the overall experience in software. I have found that this has also made me sensitive towards the general experience in my shopping life.
So, let me tell you about an experience I love. I love technology. I love software. I love computers. I love gadgets. I love apps. I have several hundred apps that I’ve downloaded over the years and still have a handful that I truly love and use every day. As for my computer, I’ve moved off a PC onto a MAC. Now, all you PC users, stop for just a second before you light me up. It’s an experience thing.
Today, for example, I needed to buy another power adapter as a spare for my MAC. I went to the Apple Store on my phone, bought it, paid for it with my Apple Pay, and then had the order sent to me when it was ready to be picked up and put in my wallet. I went to the store, gave them my phone to scan the code and they shortly brought out the box.
I love Apple packaging. I almost want to buy Apple products based on packaging alone. I love the experience in the store. I love the ‘minimalist’ approach they have taken on walking into the store, ordering, and even delivering product to their customers. It’s thoughtful. It’s clean. It’s simple. It’s an experience that leaves me feeling ‘up to date’ and ‘trendy.’ They even put my name on the product. As if to say, ‘We thought about you after you ordered and had it waiting.’ It’s the details, folks.
I love my MAC. So much that I gave up my PC. I have been an iPhone fan since they came out – even despite some of the issues. Why? Because Apple has always taken care of me. And I’ve been happy to pay the price for good customer service and thoughtfulness when it comes to an experience.
User experience is important. It’s subtle things. The shape of a button. The size of a font. Scripted versus not. The colors of a page. Smokey blues versus harsh blues. There’s a whole psychology behind this, I’m aware. But when I purchase a product, when I am using software, I want to feel good.
How does experience impact you? As the folks at Apple said, “Think different.”