When one thinks of experiences that are engaging, it usually involves something interesting, compelling, exciting, or out-of-the-ordinary. As compared to involvement or mere participation, engagement is the concept of exhibiting an overall positive association with something, ascribing enjoyment or delight to an experience.

At least that’s how I’ve always thought about it. But recently when doing some research on product and UX metrics I encountered this term and was presented with a new spin on the definition.

The widely accepted view of engagement as a UX metric

Google has popularized the H.E.A.R.T. framework, a methodology for measuring overall product performance. …

A stylized title graphic for the 8 Pillars of UX Design
A stylized title graphic for the 8 Pillars of UX Design

In order to evaluate anything, you have to start with a set of standards and criteria by which to judge it. To do that, I have a set of principles that guide all of the product design work I do.

Getting to know what makes people tick can be difficult. This is true with people you know and interact with personally. It gets even more complicated when we start talking about “users” — these theoretical humans that use the software you’re making.

I have designed experiences in a number of different contexts over the years. From slide decks to email campaigns and websites to applications — both desktop and mobile. One thing they all have in common is a human or group of humans with which they interact. What we, in the biz, refer to as users.

Just to be clear: users is just a fancy word for you and me.

Its been my experience that users consistently exhibit a set of characteristics that drive behavior. As a designer, its good to keep these in mind — and design accordingly, with empathy.

I’ve heard it said that the most critical trait for a designer to have is empathy. I think I agree with that. According to Google, empathy is defined as …

“the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”

Why is empathy important for a product designer?

In almost all cases, we are designing an experience that a person uses. Hence, the common word “user” is always associate with what we do — user, usability, user experience, etc. Unlike artists, our work is judged not only by how it looks, but also how it works. Is it easy to use? Can a user quickly understand it? …

Chuck Mallott

I’m a long-time UX Designer specializing in web, mobile, and product design with a focus on craftsmanship, problem-solving and design leadership.

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