As Macadamian celebrates 15 years of business, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at how user experience has evolved.
Build to Spec
15 years ago, products were to be built to the technical spec. There was no room to ask end-users or business stakeholders what they thought or how they used the product. Managers didn’t ask if a product had gone or would undergo User Experience research or design. In fact, how something appeared and operated was of little importance as long as it did what it was supposed to do from a technical perspective.
In 2006, Macadamian purchased Maskery, a local user experience design firm. The purchase was made to enhance Macadamian’s capabilities beyond software engineering. It also stressed the demand of this skill set.. An evolution was underway in the market. Clients were now looking for solutions that worked (from a technical perspective) but also “looked good”.
Clients were asking for products to look good because it was their perception that this would also make their products work well. But, user experience design doesn’t just make things look good, in fact, 70% - 80% of the job is researching and designing the underlying interactions that provide the foundation for the visual design. Many had the perception that UX design meant a visual design and that simply wasn’t, and still isn’t, the case.
Research, architecture, and design
Today, User Experience Design has become essential. It’s an integral portion to any project and any product. User research, information architecture, interaction design and visual design are all things that we propose on the majority of the projects we work on – these components are all essential ingredients for a superior product experience.
Here at Macadamian, our user experience team helps in creating and designing products to exceed our clients, and their customers, expectations. It hasn’t been an easy journey over the past 15 years, but its one that has made us into a developed and focused team and organization.
I cannot wait to see what evolutions are ahead for user experience in the next 15 years. In the meantime though, please share your stories with us below or on Twitter.
About the Author
Lorraine Chapman is a management and User Experience Research professional at Macadamian Technologies. In addition to her role as Director of User Experience Research, Ms. Chapman has provided a broad range of clients (within the Healthcare, Telecommunications, Government, and Finance sectors) with strategic direction on business, product and customer issues. This experience includes product value analysis, user requirements research (both qualitative and quantitative) and usability analysis/evaluation of websites, services (eCommerce and eBusiness), applications, software, hardware and documentation. Lorraine can be reached at email@example.com