In 2013 I delivered a talk along with the incomparable Abhishek Ghate at the CTO Summit organized as part of the first Sequoia Hack in Bangalore (we were both design mentors for the hackathon). Abhishek is a rising star in the world of UX Design and incredibly articulate when it comes to explaining deep design principles to design novices. Our talk was on User Experience and Gamification. The first 34 slides below are on UX (and are fairly self-explanatory) and the remaining on Gamification (that much reviled and misunderstood subject which probably deserves a whole series of separate posts).

Here are some of the salient points we were trying to make in the presentation:

  • UX Design covers the sum of every interaction with a product or service
  • UX is the intangible feel of the product/ service; UI is the tangible face of the product/ service
  • Though UX is intangible, its effects are quite measurable (direct impact on metrics)
  • Every touch-point with the user/ customer is an opportunity to improve user experience
  • UX is everyone’s role
  • Deliver more than expected – keep delighting users by effectively using the smarts of your system
  • Keep testing till you hit the right balance

If you are working in any product based start-up in India, the UX debate is probably a constant part of your existence. Most founders who don’t have a design background keep pushing forward the hiring of a UX design specialist (a difficult role to fill). And when they do hire a designer, it turns out to be a graphic or a user interface designer – both, by the way, very capable of being UX designers, but not necessarily specialists in the field of user experience.

If there is one single takeaway from the presentation above, it is this: creating a good user experience is everyone’s job in a team – everyone is involved. But as founders/ team leaders, make sure that there is one senior person (could be from product, design or engineering) in the team who is committed to UX. Committed in terms of their deliverables/ part of job description/ their neck is on the line if the product UX sucks.

And remember: the difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs in breakfast. The chicken was involved; the pig was committed.

Who is Responsible for UX?
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