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User experience, often abbreviated as UX, refers to the total experience a user has with a tool, or even an entire company, across all methods of communication and interaction with that tool, including both direct interactions using a tool UI and indirect interactions via other tools such as email, SMS, phone calls, in-person human representatives of the tool or company, etc.


Why UX? A good UX should/will make you more productive, more in control (user agency), while minimizing frustration.

  • 2018-07-17 Don Norman in Fast Company: Why bad technology dominates our lives, according to Don Norman

    We must change our mind-set from being technology-centric to become people-centric. Instead of starting with the technology and attempting to make it easy to understand and use, let us take human capabilities, and use the technology to expand our abilities. We need to return to one of the core properties of human-centered design: solve the fundamental issues in people’s lives.


Iterating with your own use-cases (scratching your own itches, per principles) helps you at least build a good UX for yourself, as long as you do use it yourself (selfdogfood).

Then if/when you have a second user, watch *how* they use your software, and take notes. Watch where they get stuck, or frustrated. Listen to them verbalize *what* they want to get down, but be very ware of anything they say about *how* they want to do it, or any opinions about tools etc.

UX first

UX-first is an approach to making a software project by focusing on UX first, as opposed to plumbing.

By focusing on UX instead of plumbing, you'd get better experience in the end, the one that is less constrained by what's easy to implement.

Beware of

Beware of just "asking" users what they want. They're usually wrong (they don't have sufficient self-cognition plus design skills to do so, not their fault) and you'll usually get bad outcomes if you try to build accordingly.

Homer Simpson in his ridiculously overdesigned overfeatured car

See video:


Dilbert comic where marketing person gets engineer to build what users asks for, and it punches them in the face.

Developer Experience

Developer experience describes the way in which a developer interacts with a tool such as a programming langauge or a framework. Developer experience should be considered second to building an excellent user experience (i.e. build for users first rather than using your favourite tools without considering their impact on users).

See Also