User Experience is not a Platform


UX Australia 2010

There seems to be this idea of late promoting that all you need to design a user experience is a single developmental / design platform.  As if this platform is all that is required, the UX nirvana, the ulitmate UX tool.

This is a little like saying that your experience with a cup of coffee is directly reliant on the brand coffee making equipment and tools that where used to brew the cup.   With no consideration to given to the farmer, buyer, roaster, and the barista and the like.

UX is not about the spanners and hammers, its about the way you use and don’t use them.The discipline of user experience design isn’t really  dependant on anyone platform or tool set.

As we know user experience design is about the application of techniques, methods and abstract tools.

It’s not about Adobe, Microsoft, Omnigroup or any other software vendor.

UX Design the Good Bits

In fact if you are  good UX designer you really won’t care what the tool or design platform is that you’re using.

All you will care about is the outcome, the ability to see the patterns allowing you to solve the design issues at hand.

I often find myself shifting between varous tools from pen, paper, and a bunch of post-its (I know I love the old school) to Omnigraffle, Word, Balsamic, Sketchflow or the like.  Not really caring for the tool or the “process” but just the outcome.

These are just tools.Yes you have favourites, but in reality they don’t matter, all they are doing it making the presentation easier or saving time.  They are not the UX process.  They’re not the platform.   They aren’t the centralised  methodology.

In fact the UX platform is what we are carrying around all the time.   No it’s not an iPad.   The platform is what’s between your ears.

So if you think the UX  platform is a vendors developmental tools  – you really are doing user experience wrong.  Or maybe you have been drinking a little too much of the vendors UX koolaid.

Tags: , , , , , ,