UX And My Changed Perception
A few months ago, I took my family on a week vacation to Orlando’s Disney World. It was not only for fun but to celebrate my daughters birthdays (turned 4 and 7). The last time I went was my senior year in high school, way back in 1987.
UX isn’t just for the web or digital applications, it’s for every day life. Give the consumer or audience an immersive experience and you will have created fans for life.
One attraction in the Magic Kingdom was Winnie the Pooh’s “100 Acre Wood” ride. I immediately paid attention to the line and how it was configured. It was before getting on this ride when I first noticed that things have changed. I loathed going to Disney World because my memory conjured up frustration from standing in 45-minute long line waits or even longer. Well, “100 Acre Wood” changed that perception for the better!
An Improved User Experience!
While the line for the ride was long and twisted, Disney must have learned how to make it tolerable for children and adults. They had special attractions within the lines that were interactive. Heck, even the TV monitors were interactive.
For instance, the first attraction in the line were bongo drums and toy garden tools that kids could play with. As they progressed down the line, the more the offering.
When that came to a stop, the next feature began. The line separation railing was fashioned to be a bee on rails that kids could move around and get into honeycombs. Once in, it created a bee buzzing sound.
Further down the line was a series of video monitors that appeared to be coated in honey slowly falling down the screen. Wipe the screen with your hands vigorously, and you could see what seemed to be Piglet, Winnie, etc. playing inside. Stop wiping, and the honey took over again. While watching, the screen remained with a yellowish tint reminiscent of real honey.
Regardless, this type of scene occurred at most lines, particularly children-themed rides. For the ones that didn’t have interactive things, there were animatronic characters based on that attraction talking to people and would have video monitors that had to do with the attraction’s story.
Be A User Experience Pioneer
I later read that Walt Disney himself was an early pioneer of User Experience, which was why his theme parks are so wildly popular. The article, from UX Magazine, took note of this and here are the key takeaways:
- Make special moments
- Always be plus-sing (never remain satisfied)
- Give customers options
- Fix things that don’t work
- Take risks
- Hire smart people
- Use data to make things better and maximize profits
- Test, refine, then test again
Recommended Books On User Experience:
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
by Nir Eyal
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug
- Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook
by Saul Greenberg
- The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond
by Jesse James Garrett
- UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want
by Jaime Levy
Don earned his BA degree in Sociology with a minor in Communication Studies from Texas Tech University and has continued staying atop the latest technological advances. He's earned his User Experience Certification (UXC) and nearing completion of his UX Master Certification (UXMC) from the reknown Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g).
His works have been published in numerous publications including the New York Times and Houston Chronicle. Don also enjoys kayaking, traveling, photography, genealogy, his wife and two young daughters, and of course, his dog.