Designing efficient experiences

“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”~Juma Ikangaa, NYC Marathon Champion

Marathon Runners learn to be efficient. They try to cover more ground in less time. When they can’t shave off time, they try to cover more ground, with less energy. It is all about becoming more and more efficient, and the runner who runs most efficiently wins.

What is interesting to me is the techniques and strategies runners choose to use to prepare to win. Speed workouts, rest, long runs, recovery, and cross training all go into that preparation, and in the long run, it helps them get to the finish line in few steps than before. Metaphorically speaking, can the same techniques be applied to cover more ground with the work we do?

As User Experience professionals, we need to make the experiences we create more efficient. The experience using our designs needs to be faster, so that the user doesn’t have to take as many steps. Our goal should be to help users accomplish their goals in less time, using our system. In order to do this, we need to constantly be testing our experiences, and seeing how fast they are – how quickly do they allow users to use them? As NYC Marathon Champion Jumaa Ikanga said, our “will to win means nothing with out the will to prepare.” If we want to build great experiences, we need to train our systems to be efficient – through constant “speed workouts” with users.

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