User experience (UX) is a hot topic these days. A lot of people overcomplicate it.

The Nielsen Norman Group, started by 1 of UX’s godfathers, defines UX as

“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

That succinct sentence has a lot of power in it. I want you to look at 2 ideas before I give you my 3 word UX definion

“UX encompasses all aspects of the user’s interaction”

The key word is “all”. This could be an offhand comment about your company made by a friend. It could be a wholly unrelated social media message made long before the user even knows they have a problem you can fix.

A user’s opinion is affected by how easy it was for them to navigate your website and order the product. How were load times? What the process smooth? Were their any glitches? How were the glitches handled?

“With the company, its services, and its products”

I’ve read other definitions that are much narrower. They define UX as feelings towards a product or service.

But it isn’t. It’s everything. It’s “all”.

Ok, I cheated. The 2 ideas are 2 sides of the same coin. UX is everything. It’s how your phones are answered. It’s your choice in hold music. It’s the style of your social media posts. It’s the quality of your content. After all that, eventually, some day, it’s the quality of your product or service.

In the end, UX is the single biggest contributor to your brand image. It is the indelible impression made on an individual. If they mention your company to a friend, this impression is the well from which all comments are drawn.

Josh’s 3-word UX definition

If you get stuck trying to decide which option best aligns itself with good UX, ask yourself 2 questions:

  1. Am I solving the problem?
  2. Am I increasing or decreasing friction?

UX, simply, is solutions without friction.

Are you providing smooth solutions or are you getting in your own way?

Featured image by CloudVisual