The what of a thing cannot be properly understood without first understanding the why. This is because things do not always have a being apart from their raison d’etre.
This is how great products come into existence. For every great product, there is a reason(why). It is not so much about the what of a product as the why.
The ‘why’ of the product is the vision by which every feature and component exists to serve.
Science’s’ value proposition lies in its positioning as a body of knowledge seeking to understand the ‘how’ of the universe.
However, it surely cannot fully understand the ‘how’ of the universe without understanding the ‘why’ of its existence; this is the meta-level of knowledge acquisition.
The ‘What’ of User experience!
To know what User Experience is, it is vital to understand why it exists in the first place. I hope I can help make this simple and understandable for you.
1. Technological Products Are Built For Humans.
Users need to find whatever product they use very useful. If they find it tedious to use, inaccessible, invaluable and or do not have a pleasurable experience using the product, then you must have wasted time, energy and money. Do you want to make sure that you are not flushing your money, energy and time down the drain? Build products that your users will use. User Experience exists to make sure you get the best value for your money, time and energy.
2. You don’t know what your users need until you talk to them or situate yourself in their context.
Never assume. You will be amazed at the number of ideas that will flood you on how to innovate and improve your products when you talk to Users. User Experience Research says to you, ‘Let me help you understand your user’s needs and pain points’.
3. You want to talk to your users and have not done away with being biased? You keep seeking to validate your design or solution by asking them if the solution will work for them. You fail to understand their current process, pain points, needs and problems. YOU ARE BUILDING FOR YOURSELF. TRY EMPATHY FOR A CHANGE. User Research preaches ‘Empathy for users’.
4. Sometimes, the users of your product don’t know what they need or the problems they have. You must find the best way to unearth these needs and problems yourself. There are various methods at your disposal that could help you figure this out as they interact with your product. This is probably going to be a different topic. But you need to know that User Experience possesses the know-how of the various and best methods to use to unearth users needs, motivations, attitudes and pain points.
5. The quality of experience that users have as they use or engage with your product can never be perfect; there is no finality about such things. It is a myth. You can only keep improving the experience. There are other market forces and trends that make this impossible no matter how hard you try. Users’ needs can change, and cataclysmic events such as COVID-19, for example, can cause a paradigm shift in how we live our lives. YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS RIGHT? ITERATE, ITERATE AND KEEP ITERATING WITH USERS. KEEP EMPATHISING.
User Research pervades the entire lifecycle of your product from problem definition to Idea conception and validation through to launch, introduction to market, growth, maturity and decline. It is a never-ending process.