A UX Lesson From Coffee
"Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like." Steve Jobs once quipped, "People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, ‘Make it look good!’ That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” This is a fascinating idea, and yet a simple principle. If we want to create good UX, we need to make it beautiful and useful. An excellent example of the UX is coffee.
Consumed by millions every day, coffee is one of the most powerful beverages in the world. But how, and why, is the UX of coffee something that designers should applaud and imitate? It's all in the experience - it's how coffee makes people feel, what it allows them to do. A hot cup of coffee can warm people up on a chilly morning, it makes us feel cozy and comfortable it in our hands, we feel like we're in control, holding this magical drink with our gloved fingers.
Or think of what coffee allows us to do - be more productive, do things quicker, think more clearly, etc. Coffee makes us powerful and efficient. We feel like a true professional when we stop on our way to the office to pick up a venti latte. We're buying a feeling, an experience.
You will design better when you consider what users actually want. They don't care about our product or it's design, they care about what it allows them to do and experience. Are they trying to purchase a dollhouse to give to their daughter on her birthday? Or video chat with their elderly grandpa who lives out of state? What is the full story? What is the full experience? Think and design holistically for your users. And always ask yourself if your product makes them feel as good as coffee does. Bean there, done that.