Jon Kolko’s Take On User Experience

December 24, 2009 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: behavior, design, usability, user experience 

The current issue of Johnny Holland magazine includes an article entitled “Our Misguided Focus on Brand and User Experience” by Jon Kolko.  The author argues, in essence, that interaction designers have misplaced their focus on brand and user experience to the exclusion of designing for behavioral change.  He also states:

  • “User experience” is just a new name for old thinking, and “User experience practitioners” exhibit the same hubris that has long plagued “brand thinking”: the large name-as-mindshare mentality that a company can own a space, a segment, or even a consumer.
  • These negative qualities of our last century’s focus on brand and experience have been forced upon the business of design and the design of business, but it is only interaction and the ability to change behavior that will serve as fundamental pillars upon which to drive successful new endeavors.
  • Instead of seeking to own and prescribe a singular experience, we must strive to adapt to the peculiarities and nuances of human behavior.

To say this article will rile many in the interaction design / usability / user experience / branding communities is probably an understatement.  But, I believe the author highlights several issues that members of these communities should seriously contemplate.  As for myself, I find it an introductory “warm up” in preparation for reading his book “Thoughts on Interaction Design.”

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