I had a major UX insight recently. The learning came through my recent phone upgrade.
I couldn’t take my HTC Touch Pro 2 anymore. Windows Mobile was just an awful experience. It called people magically from inside my pocket and refused to answer when they called me. Verizon allowed me to upgrade a bit early, so I got a Droid X.
The device sits nicely in my hand. It’s actually quite elegant and feels good to hold. Call quality is medium, but acceptable. It never calls from my pocket. There are a bunch of pretty good apps. It works perfectly with all my email and calendar sources.
So logically, I would have assumed that I would use the new phone MORE than I used the HTC Touch Pro 2. It has more capabilities and works much, much faster/better. However, this did not play out. In fact, I use it less than half of the time I used the old phone. Additionally, I am much happier about my phone, despite using it less. In fact, I think about it very little. I have reached Zen with my phone…resonance.
Here is what happened in my head: I knew the HTC phone was bad, so I kept trying to make it better. I installed UI software, downloaded apps, tweaked it; trying desperately to make the thing as good as an iPhone. I kept thinking about it. It was like a cut on the roof of my mouth that would heal if only I could stop tonguing it. (Fight Club quote) It bothered me. I had no resonance with it, so I kept trying to use it and make it better.
The Droid X felt like a calming force descended upon me. The phone felt good in my hand and pocket. When someone wanted to see my phone, I felt proud of it’s nice big screen. I knew it was there when I needed it, so I stopped needing it so much. The phone had reached a state of resonance with me, so I stopped thinking about it.
I think about things that bother me. I don’t think much about ones that fit perfectly in my life. The state of perfect UX is something you use without thinking and gives you a sense of calm and peacefulness. Of course, this is not applicable to experiences like roller coasters and theme parks. However, for products you keep, a state of resonance will give you loyalty and high net promoter scores.
Of course, this is one anecdote and doesn’t mean the whole world works this way. However, when you analyze what happens to you and thinking about your own behavior, you gain tremendous insight into how other people think and can design accordingly.