1 — Build experiences, not interfaces

What is an interface, anyhow? This may seem like an obvious question. But it's a little more complicated than it first seems. Here is a definition of the word "Interface" from the Cambridge Dictionary.

A connection between two pieces of electronic equipment, or between a person and a computer.

The app you're currently working on has text, forms and buttons that need to be understood and interacted with by the user. It’s the interface, and the interactions it contains, that will help them perform the necessary actions needed to achieve their desired outcome. So this first definition fits and is maybe how you’ve seen an interface, so far. But here is another definition from the same word "Interface" from the same Cambridge Dictionary entry.

A situation, way, or place where two things come together and affect each other.

As you can see, that description feels more emotionally charged. How two things affect each other can only imply that an experience is taking place. It may be good, it may be bad, but it’s beyond just interacting with something.

The user experience is important

To put this into a real life example, let’s think about a chair. A chair should perform its most basic of functions, which is to enable the sitting down of a person who no longer wants to stand up. If it doesn’t perform this basic function, I’d argue, it hasn’t got the right to call itself a chair at all. But there is another side to this.

I’m sure you can think of a chair that you love to sit in. You may even own that very chair and it’s in your home right now. But I’d wager we’ve all sat in our fair share of terrible chairs, too. It’s the nice chairs you try out in the store and bring home with you. It’s the nice chairs you tell your friends and family to try out when they come over. When it’s your desire to be comfy, I bet I know which chair you’ll think of first.

Of course, we’re not building chairs. But it’s a great analogy to keep around when you’re building.

The makeup of a positive outcome


Don’t just make interfaces, make experiences. Creating great experiences means your app becomes meaningful and memorable. You’re not only achieving people’s goals but you’re making them smile too, and what can be bad about that?

Further learning topics: UI, UX

James Morris

Hey, I'm James 👋 I want to know what you think and would love some feedback. Just reach out over email. Say hey!