What does UX mean anyway?

UX stands for User Experience but it means so much more than that. Here's what it means to me.

Over the years, I've taken many stabs at defining how I've helped businesses.

The answer has always been pretty complicated, but I think I've boiled it down to its very essence. When you think about how something will be used, you make it better. Simple as that. Better can be faster, easier, cheaper, sexier or smaller. It can be better in whatever the ways the user needs. But the easiest (and least risky) way to achieve that is by following a simple process.

Learn, build test.

Does that sound familiar? It really should - it's the hallmark of a lean process. At it's core, UX is all about practicing an iterative style of design. Learning about who is going to use it, how are they going to use it, when are they going to use it, why are they going to use it? Then dovetailing that understanding with what the business needs to be succesful so that nobody starves or goes broke. Add it all together and you arrive at something valuable.

That is what a minimum "valuable" product should be all about. That learning is akin to product-market fit and the building is prototyping. Testing is getting in front of people who will actually use it. Once you do that, you have a really good idea of whether the product will work.

Last Word

By following a structured, lean process, products can be realized, built and tested efficiently and with lower risk.

Originally published March, 2020

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