The UX of the Feeling of Success

By | August 4, 2010

I played Softball last night for the first time in quite a while.  There is a specific feeling that I get when I hit a ball well.  It’s the same feeling I get when I hit a good shot in golf or shoot a difficult shot in pool or hit a winner in tennis.  It’s also the same as when a design something really clever for work.  Very similar to the feeling of telling a good story or joke.  It’s the feeling of success. Everyone loves this feeling.  It often doesn’t last very long, but it is a special feeling that I cherish.

Whenever, I design, I think about the moments that the user will feel success.  Did it have the right pomp and circumstance?  Was it fireworks in the sky or just a firecracker in the backyard?  In one particular design, I slowed down the programming to let the user see all the cool things they unleashed.  It could have just flicked a light on, but I wanted them to bask in the glow of a task completed.

At my first up in softball last night, the first pitch hung in the air like a watermelon.  I swung the bat quick and hit it full.  I could see instantly the left fielder’s eyes dilate and felt the sinking feeling in his stomach.  He just turned his back and ran.  I smiled and started running. It was a patented Lipka Triple.  We hit the ball way over the outfielders heads and then we run…well…run may be an overstatement.  We lope?  It’s more like how the hunchback of Notre Dame might run, or possibly Igor’s running style.  It’s not graceful, more comical.  My father does it very well.  Like an old lady shuffle, I suppose.

Anyway, I got to third base and nearly dropped from exhaustion.  The point is: the feeling of the hit made it all worth while.  I love that feeling.  Maybe today, I can find a way to design that feeling for our customers.  That would be a good day.

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