Chapter 9. Visualizing the Shape of Your Product Experience

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Visualizing the Shape of Your Product Experience

“The Website Knows Me and What I Want”

I first came across experience goals in 2009 while working on the Sonyericsson.com redesign. The internal UX team at Sony Ericsson used them as a way to work through their vision for the user experience and its division across the life cycle stages of the product.

By defining goals for what we wanted the experience to feel like, we had a different starting point for approaching requirements. Rather than jumping straight in and defining what a need would correspond to in terms of content or features, we defined three overarching experience goals that should apply to the website and a user’s experience; one of them was “The website knows me and what I want.” Next we broke down each overarching experience goal into more specific experience statements for certain points across the product life cycle. For example, the experience goal “It knows me and what I want” was broken into “It gives me recommendations” at the consideration stage in the product life cycle.

Many organizations and projects are driven by the business’s needs and a list of requirements or user stories. The latter is not to be confused with user needs; just because it has the word user in the title doesn’t mean they are grounded in actual user needs. Writing user stories, in whichever format they take, is easy in the sense that we can all write “As a <type of user> ...

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