Apple Interfaces, Defining UX, and I Didn’t Procrastinate

Jotting down a couple thoughts to test the old Press This Chrome extension, so here’s a little brain dump.

I spent a lot of time in a recent session of my UXD class talking bout the definition of User Experience vs User Experience Design.

The user experience is the way someone feels and acts when they are using a product. I talked a lot about how UX Design is the practice of rendering your intended use of the product to meet a user’s needs

…it’s a work in progress.

Today, I had another thought about it,

UX Design is the practice of aligning the strengths of the product with the needs of the user.

It’s a little more concise. But maybe it’s missing one of the points that I was really trying to push on to my students: even if you’re the UX designer on a project, the user experience isn’t really yours, it belongs to–and comes from–the people who interact with the product.

This also came to mind when I came across this article using the 30th Anniversary of the mac as a moment to reflect back on some of Apple’s wise product design decisions.

Apple has the Mac to thank for its next generation of devices | Apple – CNET News.

As the company has pointed out at its product introductions over the years, its stubborn commitment to match tailored user interface experiences to devices has been shown in the iPod‘s click-wheel and the iPhone’s multitouch display. Indeed, unlike Microsoft, which is pushing hard to conflate laptops and tablets, Apple sees its user interfaces as a defining difference between them.

Apple is revered for their commitment to user experience, but this quotation speaks to that point in an important way. In some ways, Apple didn’t always stick with what they knew best. They went with the interface devices that worked the best, even if it wasn’t based on what they had done before. Moving from the click-wheel to the multi-touch screen is a jump that many other product teams wouldn’t be willing to make and I think this level of innovation is what helps Apple standout.

This now concludes our test of the Press This Chrome extension. This is only a test. Had this been a real blog post, I probably would have procrastinated and never written it.