I'm often asked what UX (User Experience) means to me, and when I say "almost everything", the questioner is sometimes confused, expecting something like an easy-to-understand UI or something similar. But UX is much more than that. It is an essential aspect of any product development process, from design to implementation, testing and feedback. It goes beyond the aesthetics of the product and encompasses everything that affects the user's interaction with the product, including branding, services and the underlying technology.

Let's start with branding. The apple on my laptop tells me its orientation even when it is closed. The four squares of the Microsoft logo couldn't. On the other hand, if your product is a ball, a completely symmetrical logo would be the best choice. For cars, it should also work in other drivers' rear-view mirrors. These are just a few examples of how even the logo, or style and appearance, can help or hinder the experience of the product (and there is also the Aesthetic-Usability Effect).

Laptop logo comparison

Of course, the main user experience lies in the use of the product. But even there, it is not just the look of the interface, the layout of its elements, or other such obvious things. Of course they can make or break the experience, but the underlying technology can also deeply influence your experience with the product. For example, banking software needs to feel stable, reliable and secure. On the other hand, products like social media or e-commerce platforms need to be fast to ensure a good user experience. In addition, the technology used in the development process can influence how frequently new features can be introduced.

AI (Adobe Firefly) generated Image of a stressed out woman in a football stadium

Occasionally, it is not so much the product itself, but the services the user can access in addition to it. My software Stadium Brain, which controls the scoreboards in many football stadiums, does its main job quite well. At least my customers are very satisfied, especially those who use its features to the maximum, like FC St. Pauli. But while clubs like St. Pauli honour their guests/opponents enough to add pictures for each player, play their anthem and more, others don't want to do any content management at all. So it doesn't matter how streamlined my GUI is and how easy it is to customise. My competitors will win immediately as soon as they can offer the content management part as a service.

As you can see, everything that defines your product affects the experience of using it.

Ultimately, this is what drives my fascination with user experience. You always have to think out of the box, sometimes even way out of your own domain, to really give your users the best possible experience with your product.