What is Important is the Entire Experience

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In an interview for June 2000 interation magazine, Dr. Donald Norman stated:

“I don’t like the term ‘usability,’ and I don’t want to be called an ‘HCI expert.’ I believe that what’s really important to the people who use our products is much more than whether I can use something, whether I can actually click on the right icon, whether I can call up the right command…

What’s important is the entire experience, from when I first hear about the product to purchasing it, to opening the box, to getting it running, to getting service, to maintaining it, to upgrading it. Everything matters: industrial design, graphics design, instructional design, all the usability, the behavioral design…”

It is hard to believe that Dr. Norman said that twelve years ago! I still find myself having to explain this simple concept over and over again. Some think that experience design is just graphic design or just usability or just interaction design… for some reason it is still a challenge for people to understand that experience designs encompasses all these disciplines and more and covers the totality of people’s experience with an organization from first discovery through the honeymoon to repeat customer, loyal customer and advocate.