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Were you to make a list of the “most disruptive companies,” McDonald’s probably wouldn’t make the cut, but maybe they should. It might seem their main contribution to food was updating the format, but that’s not true. Though they may have popularized fast-food, plenty of walk-ups and drive-ins already existed. What they did do was revolutionize the process of how food is made and served. Whether it was the amount of ketchup and mustard they put on a burger or the starch to water ratio of potatoes they used for french fries, McDonald’s considered every detail to ensure a consistent experience for their customers. Not only did they change their process, but by adding the drive-thru, they revolutionized how we interact with restaurants. Though we may commonly associate UX with the digital world, McDonald’s shows us that UX isn’t limited to tech-based products. By thinking about not only the quality of the product but also the quality of the experience, McDonald’s was able to become the food giant we know today. No matter if you’re making burgers, computers, or websites, there’s now much more consideration for the user experience than ever before. By extension, the process of creating the best user experiences has also changed over time due to the increase in customer expectations and investment in design. In this article, we’ll look at how UX practices evolved through the prism of five well-known design quotes. 1.”Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” — Steve Jobs In the last decade, there may not be a company that has impacted design more than Apple. Their fearless leader, Steve Jobs, was notorious for his attention to detail and obsession with the user experience. In fact, there’s a wonderful article by Malcolm Gladwell that suggests tinkering and his ability to make many minor improvements was Jobs’ real genius. Jobs’ affinity for aesthetics and user experience produced more than good design quotes. In February of 2018, Apple became the first company to be valued at a trillion dollars. Though many factors contributed to the success, their products’ ease-of-use is often cited as the main component of their success. By making their technology more user-friendly, they also made it less intimidating for new users. The next time you’re building a process, ask yourself this question, “Can my parents use it?” and if the answer is no, then there’s probably still more work to be done. 2. “If you find an element of your interface requires instructions, then you need to redesign it.” — Dan Rubin There are certain things in life we expect will require reading the user-manual. You wouldn’t think to put together something from Ikea without the instructions, but that shouldn’t be the norm. When navigating a website or app, if something isn’t where we expect it to be, we’re more likely to abandon it for a simpler product. Unsurprisingly, we tend to prefer designs that are more usable. What makes something usable can be measured in a few ways. One approach is to conduct usability testing to learn if users can accomplish their tasks and look at how effective the product is overall. Ask yourself if the amount of effort put in and the result gained are equal. Think about booking a room on Airbnb. Most people can visit their site and go through the booking process without any guidance and do so relatively quickly. » Read More
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