How Doors Convinced Me of the Value of User Experience Designers
By Louisa Katlubeck | Monday, October 7, 2013
We've all seen them. We use them on a daily basis, often multiple times a day and without much conscious thought. They're everywhere. Doors. Interestingly, doors can show us why we should care about the user experience.
Doors are straightforward, right? They open, and we walk through them. Nevertheless, sometimes something so simple on paper can actually be rather confusing in real life.
How many of you have walked up to a new building for the first time and reached for the door handle -– and the door won't open as you expected? The experience might have been a little frustrating, slightly embarrassing and perhaps annoying. How can something that is as seemingly as simple as a door be so complicated? The question becomes, how much more challenging is it to make products that are even more complex than a door, such as software systems and applications, usable and intuitive? Enter the need for User Experience (UX) designers.
UX designers are trained to design new products and improve existing ones. They are interested in creating intuitive, easy to use products and analyzing existing products to figure out how to improve them. How then does this apply to our previous discussion about doors? Well, there would be consistency in which doors are "pull" and which are "push", the method of opening a door will provide a clue for which way the door opens, and there might even be a label to make the door even easier to operate. Users will no longer walk up to a new door and awkwardly analyze it, wondering if they're about to look rather silly trying to push open a door that was (unclearly) designed to be pulled.
What then does this mean for your products? UX designers can help you create intuitive products that your users will understand and be able to use intuitively. This often means happier customers, more repeat business and customer recommendations ultimately, leading to new business.