Usability Is King and Experience Is the Product

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by: Idris Mootee

Transcendent product design is both a matter
of strategy and philosophy. The most common reason product development has gone
wrong is that people stop at the worst time–when the solutions are most
convoluted. It is about going beyond that point to think about the experiences
people are having and what jobs they want to get done.

What do companies like Nintendo, Nordstrom,
Jet Blue, Netflix, Amazon and Apple have in common? They have built their brand
value on providing a positive experience for their customers on- and offline. A
good strategy is to match business objectives with customer needs. They combine
ongoing testing, feedback and improvement cycles into their daily practices and
invest in listening, learning and modifying the user experience to create
positive returns in revenue and goodwill. This means user experience is not
just a practice or a process–it is a philosophy.

Why is it that what Steve Jobs figured out
long time ago and still ignored by many companies? Why do so few products seem
concerned with how they fit into the lives of their customers? Drop by a Best
Buy and see how many products that you can just plug and use without spending
time to figure out ob how to use it? Why is it that people still approach
products as functional utilities, disconnected with customer emotions? Why
can’t we learn?

Here’s great comment from Steve Jobs:

When you start looking
at a problem and it seems really simple, you don’t really understand the complexity
of the problem. Then you get into the problem, and you see that it’s really
complicated, and you come up with all these convoluted solutions. That’s sort
of the middle, and that’s where most people stop….

But the really great
person will keep on going and find the key, the underlying principle of the
problem–and come up with an elegant, really beautiful solution that works.

Original Post:
http://mootee playground/2007/12/usability-is-ki.html