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Satisfy vs Delight

From: Chris C.
Sent on: Monday, March 11, 2013 4:53 PM
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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