Reflection on User Experience Lab & How To Apply It

Last week, I attended the Hyper Island User Experience Lab in Singapore. You can read my summary here. I really liked the holistic approach that was taken about design. The biggest takeaway for me has really been that user experience is and should be at the core of business.

Design is not about “making things look pretty” but really about understanding people. Your customers have a “job” to do (job-to-be-done theory) and they can decide to hire or fire your product to do that job. The closer you are to them, the more likely they are to choose you over another solution. This is why listening to customers (feedback) and frequently tweaking your product (iterative releases) will give you an edge in comparison to your competitors.

But do you always have to ask your customers what they want? I personally think that customers don’t always know what they want or don’t know how to express it. This is why observing them is really important, because you usually discover where the problems lie, what frustrate them and you can really come up with innovative solutions. During our workshop, we use eye tracking to test our prototypes and it was fascinating to watch our users interact with our app and we actually got more insight from observing them than from talking to them.

So how do you apply the learnings of the lab to your workplace?

If you work in a corporation, giving your team/company a small presentation about your learnings could be a great way to educate other people and make sure the concepts are clear in your head.

User experience is greatly undervalued, whether it is internally or on the client’s side, so giving examples/case studies of the business aspect of UX could win teams/clients over.

I also think that everyone realized the importance of prototyping and testing in this lab: prototype and fail fast.

Whether it is listening or observing your target users, any feedback is a gift and will help you move forward.

Good luck!