UX Design and Consumer Markets

UX Design and Consumer Markets

On a recent episode of Exponent Ben Thompson made a statement concerning user experience that, as is typically true of Ben’s thinking, is spot on.1 He states:

“In consumer markets where the buyer is the user there is much more value placed on this kind of third axis, which is the user experience. And people are willing to pay for that.”

He is stating this as a potential reason why a company like Apple can have unparalleled success in the consumer market while defying so many of the other rules of business. As anecdotal evidence to his point, Apple’s focus on user experience is the primary reason I have stuck with Apple’s ecosystem since switching in 2007.

I think his argument also holds true in my field of instructional design and educational technology. Many of the designers and tools out there do amazing work, but quite often the overall user experience leaves something to be desired. An instructional designer that can offer an incredible user experience on top of communicating the necessary information is probably going to find themselves in high demand. To reiterate Ben’s point about this third axis of user experience, “people are willing to pay for that”

Ben’s perspective here is part of why I adore his podcast and website. He is able to break down and analytically consider the way businesses in the technology space function. I am incredibly interested in business but find most writing and discussion on the topic dry, uninspiring, and unwilling to consider new perspectives. Ben’s ability to write about business and technology in a way that is captivating and relatively unbiased is impressive. It is worth your time to give his site a visit and his show a listen.



  1. Although I state this about an episode of his show that contains something I disagree with. I am not aligned with his thoughts that Apple is “backing out” of iCloud at all.