The Rise of UX and its Invisible Future

The Macleay College advertising students were recently lucky enough to have Sam Court, User Experience Director from The White Agency talk about the Rise of UX at our weekly Advertising Conference.

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Firstly you may be asking, what the hell is UX?

UX is User Experience. This examines human behaviors, attitudes, emotions and habits to optimise the use of products, systems and/or services, and make the end-user’s interaction with the product, company and/or services as seamless and intuitive as possible.

What businesses sometimes fail to understand when using UX is, ‘You are not the user, and neither is the client’.  You must think like a user and respond like one when confronted with a problem or task. This is where some businesses fail when trying to fully engage their consumers. It’s not what the business wants from the users, but what the user wants from the business. UX can help create what’s right for the end user, particularly through empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

It was fascinating hearing about User Experience Design (UXD), and all the different techniques for solving problems, dealing with tasks as well as creating better user-interfaces. I particularly enjoyed the process of creating a persona (based on consumer research) and a user scenario. This helped to create understanding of the thought processes of the target consumer, as well as it imagine how they use the product – like a “day in the life”. The UX design process can mean you may come up with many different personas and scenarios, since no two people are alike and we all use products, internet and mobile experiences in different ways.

But where does someone start if they want to work in UX? Sam spoke about his own personal fascination with human behavior and love of logistical problem solving.

Sam’s final point was the idea of an invisible future. He spoke about how we started with many people and one computer, to one person and one computer, to now where we have one person with many devices. He went on about how interfaces have evolved from big monitors to portable touch screens to possibly even an invisible screen. He talked about the Internet of Things, how there are households where we can control everything electronic with a push of a button on a remote command on our phone, to how this is evolving into location sensitive devices that can respond  just by us walking in the front door (such as the lights turning on automatically). This way computers serve us.

I asked Sam afterwards if there is a possibility of us living in a Tony Stark-ish home, where we walk in and before we even think it, the house will function the way we want it to. He said there is a future out there with endless possibilities.

By Macleay advertising student, Nathan Sarmiento

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