When we’re thinking about the impact of good and bad UX on the experience of using software there are a large group of people who are often overlooked. They’re not the discretionary consumers, who may be put off completing a purchase by requiring an extra click or form field, but a those who are forced to use in-house developed software required to complete their day-to-day work.
These apps are often clunky, with awkward UX, interaction foibles and bugs. They’ve quite possibly been “”designed”” by programmers, rather than UX specialists. But people have no choice but to use them day-in and day-out. So how is this likely to affect their attitude to the application?
An interaction can be so bad, so awkward to execute, that it feels almost painful. Maybe not when performed in isolation, but when repeated over and over it can become mentally (and even physically) wearing.
The application has them captive, and sets about bending them to its will.
But then a strange thing happens. The users start to think it’s OK.
Maybe it doesn’t feel quite as bad as it used to. It’s not really so awkward that it works that way. In fact, it feels right to do it this way.
Actually, why would it be done any other way!?
Wait a second, what just happened?
Despite the terrible treatment meted out, and partly due to the captor showing some small kindness – giving the ability to do their job, however awkwardly – the hostages have fallen in love with the application, their cruel, heartless captor.
Continue reading Bad UX and Stockholm Syndrome