Steve Jobs and the Paradox of User Experience

The paradox of designing an user experience that motivates users to try and return to your product is that it can require being intensely focused on yourself and striving to meet your own standards, while having a sensibility such that something compelling for you will be compelling to others.  It is not sufficient to hold your finger in the air or poll others, but instead requires serious internal reflection.

Steve Jobs (2008):

“We did iTunes because we all love music. We made what we thought was the best jukebox in iTunes. Then we all wanted to carry our whole music libraries around with us. The team worked really hard. And the reason that they worked so hard is because we all wanted one. You know? I mean, the first few hundred customers were us.

“It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.

“So you can’t go out and ask people, you know, what the next big [thing.] There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me “A faster horse.” ‘ “