Andi has been doing digital creative work since 1995 and is prepared to back up the date with links. Between 1995 and 2001, Andi provided technology based design services to top tier clients ranging from Fox Television, to Xbox to The Smithsonian, Mandalay Bay and many others in between. In 2001 he decided to turn his passion into a technology startup focused on hospitality services and a digital design agency in 2004.
In 2014 Andi joined Deloitte Digital and was part of the Seattle office creative leadership team. Andi lives in Seattle, commutes to Redmond, where he is busy defining the next generation of Windows Experiences for the Maps and Communications & People Teams at Microsoft as Director of Design.
Putting "U" (you) back in the user journey, because it matters.
There is one thing that stuck through all my time working with technology and has been a constant companion. It's the word “User". Which, one always assumes, means the end-user of the technology. Basically, it's the person that's at the receiving end of the experiences designed in Cupertino or Redmond and built in Shenzhen. And experienced everywhere, by almost everyone.
This is all good, the shorthand of referring to the person as user, as a brick, a unit of measurement, a number. Truth be told, brings out a bit if a chill in one that has been raised in Eastern Europe and has experienced communism. The reality is different. The “user” is a person. The person has a story. The story is happening independently of the experience they are engaging with. It is independent, it intersects the moments they interact with technology, it adds context, color and completes the picture.
It all adds up to the fact that the “User Journey” is a personal one. It is a moment that makes an impact in one’s life. Whether a small one, using command/shift/j in Photoshop to move a selection to a new layer (awesome), or the last text you receive and read before you get your car crushed by a semi because you ran a red-light. These are aspects of a technology user-journey that impact life in a significant and insignificant ways. They matter.
And at the end of the day, it's not just your journey as an app or site browser/visitor/user, but also how you travel it. It's your frame of mind, the choices you make before the steps, clicks and visits and the ones you make after. Each interaction builds up. Each repeat visit is (but should it be?) different, because your frame of reference, your frame of mind is different. The totality of your experience over time matters.
Your user journey is a human journey. Whatever you do, whatever you end-up clicking, tapping, swiping will take seconds off your life clock. Each click, tap, swipe, etc. different, each one relevant to 100% of people taking it. Relevant to themselves as users and as humans. They should be good and they should be valuable, because they all amount to a journey.