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Design For The Human ExperienceI don’t like the term “UX Design” and this is why.

Back in the day, when the Internet was still emerging and I was studying Design at Carnegie Mellon University, we didn’t call people “users”. We called them “people”.

As designers we were taught to set our egos aside, and deeply consider the lives of those who would experience what we were designing.

This is where I see an important distinction between what’s called “User Experience Design” and what I call “Human Experience Design”. In too many circumstances, UX focuses too narrowly on simply making the tool easier, instead of making lives easier.

Here’s a real-world example of what I’m talking about:

A person takes an online, professional certification course. At the end of the course they’re alerted that they’ve passed via email. The email takes them through a multi-step process to obtain their certification card.

User Experience Designers work to make these steps easy to understand, and user friendly.

So what does a Human Experience Designer do that’s any different or better?

The HX Designer recognizes that the person taking the course needs their certification card in order to continue practicing their profession and putting food on their table.

So the HX Designer works to ensure that when the email arrives congratulating the person on passing the course and wishing them well in their career, the certification card is there too. Then Customer Service follows up with a phone call.

Big difference.

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  1. This is a great article. I often find myself in Lean Agile environments where the main focus is to just design something that is possibly more usable. I use the Luma Method and paper prototyping to bring the interactions to life. This usually gives it a human feel. I used a simple folder to show the limitations of a long drop down menu on a recent design.

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