HX: The Human Experience
UX and CX are terms that most people are familiar with but HX is the next logical step.
HX, or Human Experience is all about how people interact with the world. Whether that’s in the real world or through man-made virtual interfaces… it should be at the centre of everything we as people do.
User experience (UX) design is the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful and relevant experiences to users. This involves the design, including aspects of branding, design, usability and functionality. Although this masquerades as putting people first it sees them as faceless entities, or “users”.
“There are only two industries that call their customers ‘users’: illegal drugs and software.” The Social Dilemma. Netflix 2020
Next there is Customer Experience (UX) which treats the intended audience as people, but only just… an assumption is made that they will be buying from you and therefore just sheep that needed to be guided into a pen.
Then there is Human Experience (HX). This is a much more complete description of the individual’s interaction with the man-made world.
Human Experience is the complete experience a person has with a brand or service both digitally and physically. It represents the collective experiences that a person feels when dealing with any organisation, be that as a customer, an employee, a patient or a citizen.
HX is and should be the main driver for any decision made in the world, not how you’ll entice a lead, not how you trap somebody in the funnel and not how you snare the sale. People should be given a good experience of your product or service so they aren’t just willing to interact with it but actually find pleasure from it. This starts from before the first time somebody is aware of you, your business or product all the way through to after they have moved on.
Emotion is key in Human Experience
Emotion plays a key role in customer decision making. The necessity of emotion in decision-making has been demonstrated through an interesting example of individuals with brain injury published by Adoreboard. Damage to the areas of the brain associated with emotional processing has been found to significantly impair the ability to make decisions. And these aren’t just big decisions, such as whether to leave the country; these also include simple, everyday decisions, such as deciding what to have for lunch.
Often in these cases, the people involved have had no change to intellectual or problem solving abilities, which indicated that their inability to make decisions can’t be explained by logical reasoning. Leading the research to conclude that emotion is a fundamental aspect of the human decision process .
A recent study found that when people are faced with a decision that can have both negative and positive outcomes, people are more likely to go with their emotional evaluation rather than their cognitive evaluation. For example, a situation where the positive evaluation of an object (e.g. a doughnut) is emotional in nature (e.g. “delightful”), while the negative evaluation is cognitive in nature ( e.g. “unhealthy”). In this situation the emotional evaluation is more likely to be favoured. This process can be applied to consumer behaviour when deciding whether to purchase something. If the emotions that a consumer feels toward a product are more positive, then they are more likely to complete the purchase and vice versa .
Emotion is a dominant and fundamental factor in the decision-making process of humans. An understanding of the Human Experience and the emotions driving the experience will allow all organisations to better relate to their customers, and therefore better market their products and services.
HX is important to many, if not all industries, but more obvious with ones who are tech-driven.
Human Experience in the automotive industry
During the 20th Century cars performed functions for people — they would transport people, passengers and luggage from A-to-B in comfort and at the speed the driver can both afford and wish to go at. As time went on and as technology advanced more comfort and human-centric features were added. Only in the 21st Century and especially since the advent of EVs has the experience of the driver transitioned from user to human.
Cars are now learning how a driver likes to sit and interactive with the navigation system, they are taking in information from the traffic and reading road signs so the person behind the wheel doesn’t have to worry about every bit of detail. Manufacturers like Tesla are even thinking about what people want (not need) from a car including ‘Dog Mode’ which allows a dog to be left safely in a locked car, at the right temperature and display the information to passers-by of the animal’s safety.
Human Experience in mobile apps
People feel at home with how an app works and feels on their devices so much so that if you give an Android person an iOS interface and vice-versa it can throw them off while they find their way around.
If you’re making a native app or a web application which belongs in a phone it needs to sit happily alongside their other apps. The moment you introduce the outside world into their phone, when they aren’t expecting it trust will be lost. Usage will be down and the likelihood of it being uninstalled will increase. At a ‘user’ level the design might be good, but at a ‘human’ level it doesn’t work.
I had this issues with a Smart Home system I purchased. The functionality worked, and the user interface was all there but it didn’t fit with my expectations alongside my other apps. I could only live with it or a few months before switching to Tado which have invested time into a better, seamless experience.
Human Experience in marketing
Since Inbound Marketing was invented, businesses are no longer setting out their stall online to sell to people and push them into being a customer. Now more than ever it’s down to nurturing and educating people to help them make the right decision. Maybe that right decision isn’t to work with that business who published the article, maybe the culture doesn’t match, maybe they are better off going elsewhere. Or maybe they will still come to you based on your honesty and transparency.
How do we handle Human Experience at AndAnotherDay?
It’s at the core of everything we do. We are honest and transparent with our customers. We believe our skills in creating websites and digital products over the years can help people transform their business or build new ones. Not by creating a quick fix, but a fully considered and planned out product which does exactly what a client needs it to do.