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
+ve – Low 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
+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.