You Can’t Design a Great User Experience

by Smashing Magazine

Think you’ve developed a great user experience?

Now: do you think you designed it?

According to Smashing Magazine’s Helge Fredheim, great UX cannot be designed.

The theory is based on Hassenzahl’s model: the assumption that each user assigns some attributes to a product or service when using it. “As we will see, these attributes are different for each individual user. UX is the consequences of these attributes plus the situation in which the product is used.”

Let’s look at one of the ways, given Hassenzahl’s model, UX cannot be designed.


The stimulating functions of UX are often those that are unused. For instance, write a message in Gmail and include wording about the message having an attachment. When you click send, having attached nothing, Gmail will ask you if you meant to attach something. Cool, right?

That’s great UX at work—and though that feature was built into Gmail by someone, it wasn’t built specifically with user experience in mind.

There is much, much more over at Smashing Magazine. Be sure to check out the full story!