In this Expert Insight Interview, Satyam Kantamneni discusses user experience and user-centric innovation. Satyam Kantamneni is the founder of UXReactor, which he founded with his brother and turned into one of the fastest-growing specialized user-experience design firms in the US, with a team of over 60 people across three continents.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- What user experience really means
- Where the UX profession came from
- Why we still run into head-scratching user experiences with modern products
Even UX professionals don’t seem to understand what user experience means entirely. On the basic level, every system that’s ever been designed for a user is projecting an experience. This is true for a door, just as it is for the latest smartphone. If you’re using it, there’s a user experience involved.
The interesting thing about user experience is that it has so many variables. There are different users, contexts, and needs, so someone has to spend the time thinking about designing that and focusing on it. This is pretty much how the entire UX profession came to be.
Interestingly, the genesis of user experience was in WWII. Many systems were being created during that time, namely vehicles like tanks and planes, but the soldiers using these vehicles were not very effective.
It turns out that many people were ejecting from their airplanes right before they entered enemy territory. Although you might think that pilots were simply afraid of going into battle, the actual reason was that the switches for arming your weapons and the ejector seat were easily confused in the fog of war.
Even today, we get head-scratching user experiences sometimes. And the funny thing is that most companies talk about being user-centric, but when you use their product or service, it is confusing and entirely at odds with what they market themselves as.
This isn’t because companies are malicious and want their customers to struggle with a poor user experience. Creating a great user experience is not easy, and there are a lot of factors involved in making a UX work.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.