User experience is much beyond the look and feel

User experience includes many dimensions – Form / Behavior, Value, Emotion, Relationship etc. One can’t just ‘design’ the looks and expect the experience to be better.

Let us look at few popular examples :

Walmart  retail shop

+veLow cost,  Availability everything you want, 

-ve –  Quality, finding, help, ambience, returns service, 

GOOGLE search engine

+ve – find anything one wants, fast, accurate / reliable, easy to use, clean look, simple behavior

-ve – bland, doesn’t know me

Craiglist classifieds

+ve – free listing, find anything, no frills

-ve – reliability / trust, clutter, 

Blackberry Mobile phone

+ve – office email on phone, easy to type email, mobile web, speakerphone,

-ve – battery (much better now), small screen, memory space 

iPhone – smart phone

+ve – great looks, fun to use, lots of apps, music ( hard-disk)

-ve – slow to type on screen, costly, 

Nytimes – news paper

+ve – opinion (left wing – paul, dowd, brooks), clean look, great graphics, report unique things first, more than just news (but not great in sports)

-ve – bland /boring, doesn’t know me, 

How can user experience designer better these icons or help build a competitor. There are many dimensions for how one feels about these services /businesses. There are core values – like low cost walmart, fun apple, searchability of google – the reason these are unbeatable.  While they are difficult to beat however someone will come and change the game, making them less relavant.  Eventhough there are -ve aspects of user experience, these will continue to dominate. 

The question is whether better user experience can 

a) improve existing leaders profitability / revenues

b) change the game to create a new leader

One can also check if any of these used user experience as the USP / key differentiators to become the leaders.

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