Why user experience is key to everything

It’s a hot summer day in the wide open desert, the car windows are down, and the sweet smell of the dry earth filters in, mingling with the music from the radio. 

You turn up the volume and accidentally bump your chai latte. You glance around for something to clean it while trying to keep your eyes on the road. You grab a napkin and stretch to wipe the seat, half-steering with your knee, when you see a sharp S-shaped curve up ahead in the road. "Why is this in the middle of the desert?" you ask yourself. 

Whether it’s a misaligned paver, conflicted farmland politics, or the history of where they used to lead the cattle in this part of the world, one thing’s for sure: that curve definitely was not put there for you and your latte-coated khakis racing to get to a meeting on time. But the history of that road is like the history of many products we use: designed by happenstance, accident, or compromise; built a certain way because, well, we’ve always done it that way. 

Historically, the Engineering Cycle has been Design, Build, Test, Redesign – or something similar. An ideation phase increasingly has been factored into the front end of the process, but that still doesn’t guarantee the end user will be well represented. This article first appeared in WardsAuto.

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