Making people happy is important – just ask Apple

Usability dominates everything. These days everything is user-centred, you can’t afford not to be.

This post was prompted by the realisation that despite this being a blog about Apple and other tech companies I tended to select ‘User Experience’ from the categories list for a large number of posts.

At my bricks-and-mortar workplace we were recently given a talk by a fairly heavy hitter from the UK corporate world.

She had been a ‘CEO’*/MD at a number of major retail companies and had more recently gone to work in the public sector in a non-executive advisory capacity.

One of the team asked her what was the most important thing to get right in a product and her instant answer was to make the user experience as compelling and simple as possible.

As a product and publishing type who has spent the best part of 10 years banging on at senior management that the user should always come first it was a real life fist-pump moment.

Whenever Tim Cook or Steve Jobs talk/ed about Apple’s values the user experience was always central.

Apple is certainly not the only company to put usability, the end-to-end experience and customer delight at the forefront of design and marketing – I’d add Nintendo to the list – but it’s certainly one of the main modern proponents. It’s one of the company’s marketing axioms.

When I started my current role over 10 years ago I had to fight tooth and nail to get the funding for a usability review of the website.

The review demonstrated that users couldn’t even find the button that let them start the transaction that was the entire raison d’être of the site or make sense of the ‘guidance’. A huge revision of the site, its user journeys and its content took place as a result.


* I put CEO in inverted commas as the job title is barely used in the UK but seemed to make most sense to an international audience.

About admin

Some of the stuff I do: journalism, blogging, cooking, product management, marketing communications and being a dad to two little girls. Two cats, also. I’m head of publishing and product development for a UK government website and I write for content marketing agency Collective Content. For years I wrote about Apple under the Seb Janacek byline.