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Re: [ia-55] Satisfy vs Delight

From: Alan D.
Sent on: Thursday, March 21, 2013 12:33 PM

Thank you for the mention, Chris.

I have ideas about how UX can reach delightful experiences and yet still meet time and other constraints. I have not responded here because I am not a UX person by training or experience. While my views "from the outside" might be interesting I think views from UX practitioners are more valuable.

Philip had some interesting pointers. Does anyone else have some follow-up to Chris's curiosity?


On Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM, Philip Rhie <[address removed]> wrote:
Hi Chris!

I'm a big fan of Frank Chimero ( He recently published a book called The Shape of Design and held a talk at Microsoft's latest Build conference on the same topic. I think you'll find a lot of relevant ideas/thoughts/discussions there. The link to that video can be found here:

I think "UX" is a very catch-all term for empathizing with clients/customers/users. Sometimes it helps to look through more pure-bred design philosophies for inspiration.

Hope that helps!

On 3/11/2013 4:54 PM, Chris Camargo wrote:
Hi UXers,

Alan D. mentioned something in his last response to the "UX in Agile Sprints" thread that tugged on something in my brain.

Alan said, "mind the risk that we may end up with merely satisfied users rather than delighted users."

This relates directly to a struggle that I feel on a regular basis. I enjoy putting forward my best work for many reasons. Some are admittedly selfish, but it's mainly fueled by the fact that, if you are my user, I want to put something in front of you that's an absolute pleasure to use.

Achieving that usually means going above and beyond the standard business requirements. It means getting under the user's skin in a way that very few products do. It means putting an extraordinary amount of thought and care into the smallest details. That's what I believe separates the leaders from the rest of the pack.

But time and time again, I feel myself slipping into a position of designing what's "satisfactory" rather than "delightful." Sometimes it's an unavoidable result of tight deadlines, but many times the pressure to toe the line is business-driven ("we need a solution NOW"), or team-driven ("we have a deployment coming up, can't we just put up an MVP, and improve on it later?"), or even partner-driven ("so-and-so says their logo needs to be XXX bigger than the text next to it")

My question is, how do we as designers ensure that the idea of creating a "delightful" experience is valued over something that's merely "satisfactory?" Is it our job to do so?

I come from a background of working in small teams, and I enjoy working in the startup environment here in LA. But I've come across this argument a few times (and it's not always with developers :). Very curious to see how other UXers deal with this issue.


p.s. A great read for those who think products should amaze people:



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Alan Dayley - Agile Coach
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