The Eye of the Perfect Storm: UX Thursday: Detroit

Designing great experiences across multiple devices has caused a major shift in how user experience professionals create web apps & services. In his keynote, Jared Spool highlights what companies face in creating better user experiences, focusing on Sturgeon's law, market maturity & Kano's model.


  1. Sturgeon's law

  2. Created by Theodore Sturgeon, a science fiction author, who said 90% of everything is crap.
  3. We get to decide which side of the equation we're on, the 90% side or the 10% side. 
  4. Market Maturity

  5. Three stages of market maturity:
    1. Introduce new technology
    2. Add new features 
    3. Improve the user experience

    Shift from features to user experience is critical. Most who are leaders at introducing features aren't successful at transitioning to improving user experience,
  6. Example: the first word processors cost thousands of dollars. People had to be trained to use word processors. It was a long experience.

    Then WordPerfect was introduced. At it's peak, WordPerfect had 1,700 features. You needed cardboard templates on your monitor and keyboard to help you learn how to use the features. 

    When Word for DOS was released by Microsoft, it had 70 features. The "right" 70 features, which changed the business.

    A better user experience trumps features. 
  7. Meet expectations of the users. 
  8. Activity vs. Experience

  9. Example: Six Flags vs. DisneyWorld. Six Flags offers more rides while Disney offers an adventure for the day: from breakfast with Disney characters to rides to fireworks to origami animals created from towels and washcloths. 

    Six Flags is all about activities. 
    Disney is about the experiences. They're designing for all the gaps between the activities. The gaps are the interesting places to design. 
  10. Another great example of creating an excellent experience: Uber. Rather than flagging a taxi, use the Uber mobile app to request a private car, watch the car arrive on your mobile app, and pay via your mobile. 
  11. Pay attention to the gaps in the experiences. 
  12. Kano Model

  13. Developed in the 1960's, the model focuses on the relationship between customer satisfaction and the amount of investment a company makes. 
    Three trends:
    1. Performance payoff: what happens when you keep adding features and investing, customers get more satisfied over time. (dries the feature stage)
    2. Basic expectations: however much is invested, you'll never go above neutral. It's something we expect. (example: wifi at a conference, we expect it)
    3. Excitement generators: what delight people. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Example: Shazam app. It quickly tells you the name of a song.  It's a simple app that does one thing well.