Apple’s Secret Sauce: Interactive User Experience
An interesting study conducted recently could shed some light on why some of the new-age companies like Google and Apple are scoring so well compared to the erstwhile leaders like Microsoft and Yahoo!. The study from Cornell, published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, shows that experiences are better than possessions. The study essentially says:
The satisfaction we get from buying vacations, bikes for exercise and other experiences starts high and keeps growing. The initial high we feel from acquiring a flashy car or megascreen TV, on the other hand, trails off rather quickly.
I will not be exaggerating at all if I attribute the recent successes of Apple, from the launch of iPod to iPad (read Apple sold 300,000 iPads on its first day), to the creation of great user experiences. Experiences stick with users for a long time and are hard to compare very objectively. What Apple creates is what we call Interactive User Experience. If you are thinking IUX is just some nice UI, think again! IUX goes beyond the mere user interface and puts you firmly inside the context of your interaction. It is rooted in three principles that are coming of age in 2010 – Touch, Sensor and Location. It’s the difference between driving a car and racing it on a PlayStation. IUX is the thing of the future, just like GUI was the thing of the future back in the late 70s. And with the iPads and iPods of the world just coming out, it is safe to say that we are just getting started!
Our white paper Interactive User Experience: Going Beyond Interfaces, describes how IUX is different from UI, and illustrates it with some examples.