Tag Archives: learning curves

Learning Curves and Time-Series User Experience

There is an interesting post titled “How the SUV User Experience Trashed Detroit” that talks about our friends in Detroit some. What I find interesting is not so much its attack on SUVs, as its division of “User Experience” into First-, Early-, and Deep user experience.

How the SUV User Experience Trashed Detroit
When we speak of the “user experience” and how it impacts purchase and adoption of products and services we divide the framework into three basic pieces: 1) the FUE or the first user experience, 2) the EUE early user experience and 3) the DUE the deep user experience. We know from extensive research for leading high technology and media companies that there is no EUE or DUE without a very compelling FUE…in other words, what the customer first experiences is all important and in fact my be uniquely critical to the success of products which in the end, like the SUV, are of marginal or even negative relative value in the larger context. If you get the FUE right you can sell almost anything and customers will thank you for it. When we employ more advanced psychometric testing methods to user experience design research problems this effect surfaces in web sites, cell phones, video games, automobiles and a wide range of other high tech products and services.

It appears that the First/Early/Deep division of user experience is a way of describing the learning curve (becoming more proficient with the tool over time) and the affective curve (becoming less “wowed” and more comforted with the tool over time). I don’t know if we need to split user experience into three separate sections, except for ease of memory (think back to when some folks took the idea of 4GW as a dialectically distinct gradient of war, for instance), but the idea of user experience naturally changing over time is an important one.

Tools that market themselves should have both a steep learning curve and an affective hook that gives people patience to learn how to use them.