This is a special insight post by Lisa on what motivated her to study and pursue a career User experience / Usability.
This morning I was explaining to a lovely gentleman on the phone what I do for a living and how we help businesses. Afterwards it led to a discussion between Ricardo and I on why we chose to go into user experience. Our paths are very different. This is mine.
When I was a teenager I remember being very frustrated with products and computers. Back in the 90s you had to read instruction booklets, there was no escaping them. You had little chance of getting anything to work without first suffering a long read of an overly complex instruction manual. The out-of-the-box experience was horrendous. The excitement of your new purchase swiftly dulled by a sense of utter helplessness, confusion and hours spent on the phone to customer service reps who were just as clueless as you were.
Perhaps because I was young, I recall not being frustrated at myself for not understanding how to use products, instead my frustration was very much directed towards the companies designing these difficult to use products. To me, I could see simple solutions, common sense changes that could have made the whole experience so much easier! I couldn’t believe that large brand names who surely must employ very intelligent people could miss such obvious problems!
I just want to make people’s lives easier
This is where my passion for user experience originates. My aim has always been to make life easier for everyday people. People shouldn’t have to think about how to use a product, they should just be able to use it. The product should be a means to an end and something that is a joy to use, not an obstacle that causes unnecessary frustration and wastes your time.
Can you imagine how much time and frustration we’d all save if you could just pick up and use anything without having to think about how to use it?
We only live once so why should we waste our time working out how to do things, let’s just do them!
For me it’s very much an added bonus that my aim in life also has massive financial benefits for businesses. It means that I can get paid to pursue my quest to make everything in life easy, simple and intuitive. It’s partly why I love working on all types of interfaces and products. The more things I can change for people and the more impact I can have on their everyday lives, the better!
I’m a bit like a superhero for everyday people
I guess I’m a bit like a superhero for everyday people, making life better for them without them ever realising. They’ll go about their daily lives without ever knowing that somewhere I’m working away and fighting battles so that it’s easier for them to do their online shopping, it’s quicker for them to use their systems at work so they can get more done and feel happier, it’s easier to record their favourite programmes on tv, use their mobile phone…
For some people, making an impact in the world means being famous or stopping world poverty but for me it’s about making all our lives a little easier, because we only live once so why should we waste our time working out how to do things, let’s just do them!