An experience does not come from Design alone…

I’m currently working on a presentation to help introduce tools to my colleagues that may help improve the work that we do towards enabling great user experiences with our online and mobile properties. One particular point I am trying to make is that the web sites we may create do not stand alone in a user’s experience with our company. There are many other external factors at work that contribute to the experience they ultimately have. These external factors are important to recognize and understand in order to effectively design and build the web components we are responsible for.

While taking a break from my work I noticed Dan Willis’s post at about the role of Design and Web sites in user experience.

A Web site can affect emotion, but only fleetingly. A customer’s experience can involve a Web site, but even in the case of an online retailer, the Web site is only ever a part of the overall experience. So by itself, Web design is an impotent tool for affecting an organization’s brand.

That’s the thing though, Web design isn’t a solo act. It’s not an end unto itself. Design is one of the side effects of a solid problem-solving process that defines these key elements:

1. Who are your Web site’s most important users?
2. What are the goals of your Web site’s most important users?
3. Which of the goals of your Web site’s most important users can your organization address most effectively?
4. Is what you gain from satisfying those user goals worth what it costs?

I couldn’t have said it any better myself, and his great words will find a way into my work 🙂 Thanks, Dan!