Back in April 2008, I saw a presentation by Andy Budd at the Future of Web Design conference in London. This presentation, great as it was, ruined my life.
What the talk was about
The topic of Budd’s talk, Designing The User Experience Curve, was user experience in the wild and how by taking notice of user experience in real world situations could enable us to create better online experiences.
When you visit a hotel/shop/restaurant and there’s an aspect that is hard or confusing about using/receiving the provided service then it generates a less than optimal user experience and often you find yourself rejecting the idea of reusing that service in the future. Likewise, when you have a good experience, which can be triggered by any number of small things, you find yourself reusing that service in the future.
Sometimes that meal in the restaurant tastes just a little bit better when the waiter has built up a rapport with you and sometimes that hotel bed feels just a little bit lumpier when you’ve spent 20 minutes waiting at reception being ignored while you try to check-in.
So why did that inspiring talk ruin my life?
Ever since that fateful day, back in April 2008, I’ve found it impossible to do anything without judging the level of user experience I’m receiving – it’s made me notice far more when I’m getting a poor user experience e.g. whenever I:
- walk into a shop and don’t receive any kind of greeting from a member of staff.
- reach the till at the supermarket only to find that the special 2-for-1 offer doesn’t apply to my item.
- sit down at a football ground and find myself squashed in like an animal.
In the past, these events washed over me a lot more but now I can’t ignore them.
Ultimately, this talk forced me to constantly think about user experience and this habit has definitely bled through to my professional life. So, really I should be extremely grateful that Andy Budd ruined my life because let’s face it, he didn’t at all.
View Andy’s talk (on vimeo)
What about you?
Have you seen any conference talks or blog posts which have left a lasting impression on you and/or completely altered your way of thinking?