Make everything an experience

March 20, 2013

There is no such thing as a user experience designer. User experience as a discipline is only kind of a thing in that people generally value good experiences and we should strive to create more of those. Does that deserve it’s own label or job title? Probably not.

Making things into good experiences though, now that’s a thing. We as designers and developers are all just trying to do awesome shit and hoping people find value in it. Good experiences are merely a side effect of creating or doing something people can appreciate. Like calling a cab and watching it drive to you via GPS on your phone. Like buying something online and it arriving the next day.

Like playing music in the office restrooms (as we do at GitHub).

Holy crap (haha) sharing a restroom with other people can be awkward as hell. I obviously have no idea if this is the case for women, but we men are immature and easily perturbed by the restroom activities of other men. Restrooms are cold. People avoid eye contact. No one talks to each other. Every little noise echoes like it’s on a mission of ultimate embarrassment. Not really the stuff great experiences are made of (no matter what your bro tells you about his latest, ahem, victory).

Playing music over speakers is a great way to remove some of that anxiety. It makes people more comfortable, makes the entire process feel less like a silent and mindless ritual, and, most importantly, lessens that whole echo problem. Overall, it feels like a better experience.

Except when you walk up to a urinal and Under Pressure starts playing.