Intro - Why UI

How users define quality

Research should drive innovation, but execution will ultimately determine whether you gain or lose users along the way.

Updated April 12, 2020

Over the past two decades, the world of design has shifted significantly. Where visual design previously was the focal point; today, research leads the way. UX provides a foundation for what we create, but rarely is that work seen beyond the walls of a business. For the average user, the final product that they interact with is all that matters.

If we could write an equation for how design is seen in the mind of a user, it might look like this:

function x style = perceived value

First impressions matter, so how your product functions on first use will have an outsized impact. A broken product is worthless, regardless of how beautiful it might be. So style is a multiplier that attaches itself to function. Even an ugly functional product has some value, but the nicer your product, the higher the perceived value.

The x-factor here is the user. In the hands of the wrong user, every product is broken. That’s why the preceding UX exercises are so important. With UX, you minimize the x-factor because you know how to create experiences with a specific user in mind.

In the New Pragmatic Interface Course, the focus shifts to designing experiences that work effectively and retain users. Combining persuasive design techniques with legacy design principles and execution, you’ll learn how to create professional interfaces. More importantly, this series of exercises should provide you with a better understanding of why how users perceive your work and why they enjoy some interfaces more than others.

Resources for review

Article/Video Source/Author
Why UI New Pragmatic
Trustworthy Design Nielsen Norman Group
Designing for Persuasion, Emotion and Trust UX Collective


Length: Around an hour to complete

How a product works and how it looks will impact whether you use that product or not. For this assignment, you’ll investigate how perceived value of design has shaped your usage patterns.

This challenge is deceptively simple. Just finding the words needed to express your perspective might be the biggest hurdle. Because designers often present their work to clients and colleagues, elevating your ability to communicate your thoughts regarding design is essential.

Just don’t stress out! Do your best, and we’ll work together to refine the soft skills as we go.

Part one: Rather than picking a design that you ‘love’ or ‘hate’, pick a digital product or service that you use daily. The fact that your usage pattern is daily illustrates that the product or service has a perceived value to you. That doesn’t mean that it is perfect. Create a Google Doc to answer the questions below to reveal where the value of the product/service selected is derived.

  • Product/service name
  • The main reason for daily use
  • Competitors to product/service
  • Favorite aspect of product/service
  • The most annoying aspect of product/service
  • How the issue could potentially be resolved

There are no correct answers here, just exploration and a bit of brainstorming.


Once complete, update your Program Journal with links to the assets produced for this exercise. Post your Journal in the #Feedback-Loop channel for review.

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