SXSW Session Preview: Everyone Wants UX But What Is It?

Interview with EchoUser co-founder and VP of Operations Aaron Rich The term UX has been around for almost 20 years, but thanks to companies like Apple and Uber who have put design and experience at the forefront of their companies, the concept is reaching mainstream status. While a great user experience has become the goal of many companies today, most developers still struggle with the right process and inherent skillset needed to create one. At EchoUser, we take a deeper approach than just designing for a product. As companies begin to recognize the business rationale behind great experiences, companies like ours can solely focus on UX — something we believe is necessary to create the best overall experience. One of our co-founders, Aaron Rich, is looking to share his perspective on the true meaning of UX and how to create great user experience at the 2015 SXSW Interactive festival. We sat down with Aaron to learn more about his submission, “UX is a buzzword. Let’s use it to our advantage,” and discuss what UX actually means and why it’s an emerging trend. How would you define UX? The use of the word UX has grown, but most people still don't understand what it means. Some are under the impression UX is just about the look and feel of a product, but in reality it’s about understanding the users and the experience they’re going to enjoy most while using the product. Many people claim to be UX designers but in reality are just dropping buzzwords. There is a need for a larger industry discussion about what UX actually is and how to create great user experiences. I’m eager to lead that conversation and help more people recognize what they need when thinking about UX. Why is SXSW the right platform for this discussion? SXSW has a vast group of attendees from startups to enterprises -- all of whom are trying to make better products. No matter how big or small a company is, considering UX can help. But to make a difference, it’s important people understand what it really means. Why are you the best person to tell this story? I have spent over 15 years in the user experience field, measuring, analyzing and designing great experiences for startups and established enterprises alike. I have seen it all. I have seen the misconceptions with some of our clients and I have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the UX world. When we initially start working with clients, part of the work is an education process for them. We have to describe what UX is and isn’t, so they understand what we can do for their company or product. What is a common UX misconception EchoUser sees with clients? When we first start talking to clients about what they want, they usually will say they want their product to look like “X” product, and that’s not really how the process works. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to hear what they are looking for, but we need to figure out the experience we are trying to evoke first. At EchoUser we spend time doing research to understand the client’s users and their product in and out, before we can make any decisions on what it should look like.

How to vote for Aaron’s SXSW session

Are you interested in seeing Aaron’s presentation? Vote for him on SXSW’s Panel Picker and help send Aaron to SXSW Interactive 2015 where he will discuss the real definition of UX and give tips and tricks to accelerate the UX of your product or business.