The Importance of User Experience – Do You Understand It in Your Bones?

Business Week had an article earlier this week on Cloud Computing that made a complete hash of the subject. However, there was one paragraph that was right on the money:

Apple and Google understand in their bones that simplicity and ease of use are essential to broad adoption of products and services. That lesson doesn't come so naturally to Microsoft and IBM.

That's why we integrate user experience design into the agile development process, and that's why we advise our clients to release the simplest software they can early, so they can learn from real user feedback and continue to make improvements based on that learning.

It's like John Gruber writes over at Daring Fireball:

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. The inverse proposition also appears to be true: A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be made to work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.”
John Gall

If there’s a formula to Apple’s success over the past 10 years, that’s it. Start with something simple and build it, grow it, improve it, steadily over time. Evolve it.

Do you understand that in your bones?