In learning theory, a constructivist approach suggests that, among other things, the ability to gain new knowledge depends on a learner’s existing knowledge. The experience of trying to explain to people what User Experience is bears out this philosophy. In his book Make Your Customers Dance, Marc Majers illustrates the importance of user experience, while describing its tools and tactics in an accessible way.
Marc has a diverse background, as a Web designer, UX professional, and, of course, a wedding DJ. Many associate User Experience with Web sites, mobile apps, and software. Some go further and include products and services. Marc’s approach is unique in that he describes the design of a real-world experience: a party or wedding reception. Read More
Articles and surveys on the Web and in print tell us that people feel overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pace of change in technology. And, of course, these articles offer a lot of helpful advice on how to ease the stress that people may be feeling as a result of such changes.
As an early-adopting, tech-savvy UX professional, I feel that I should thrive on technological change, be readily able to make sense of it, and incorporate the latest, greatest innovations into my own personal technology landscape. However, I must admit that I am better at this sometimes than others, when I find myself reaching the limit of my capacity to absorb it all. Therefore, I’ve started trying to take a more considered approach toward looking at each new application that comes across my screens. Plus, my time is more precious than ever, so before I download and install an app, I ask myself, How would this improve my current situation?Read More
Many modern experiences that are supposed to satisfy our intrinsic needs often have the opposite effect. As the Time article “You Asked: Is Social Media Making Me Miserable?” described, users of the social-media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram experience depression and anxiety after perusing their feeds. And why not? Their feeds deliver a glut of images and videos that depict friends taking lavish vacations or doing other enviable things. The flashy highlight reels that bombard users provoke unfair comparisons—and, as human beings, we often internalize our shortcomings more readily than our blessings. This dulls our focus on things that should make us feel grateful.
But social-media platforms’ attempt to bolster the well-documented human need for acceptance often has the opposite effect. And this is just one of the needs that define what it means to be human. Our hyper-paced modern culture blunts and distorts other important human needs as well.
In this article, I’ll discuss four important human needs that product companies tend overlook and how UX professionals can help to nurture them rather than contribute to their suppression: