User experience (UX) is difficult to ring-fence as it describes every touch-point you have with your customers, whether it’s point of sale merchandising, marketing communications, or your digital presences.

As technology grows and develops trends in UX shift and change – so we have pulled together a list of timeless universal ‘truths’ from industry leaders (and the odd visionary) to help steer your thinking around UX. 

We’ve observed three core themes,

  • Understanding your end user and anticipating their needs
  • Using technology to drive behavioural change
  • Stepping back to see the bigger picture

Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes:

 “Know the user, and you are not the user” – Arnie Lund, User Experience Prinicpal Director, Microsoft

When creating content, be empathetic above all else. Try to live the lives of your audience.” – Rand Fishkin, Founder, Moz

Want your users to fall in love with your designs? Fall in love with your users.” – Dana Chisnell, Consultant, United States Digital Service

Most digital products today emerge from the development process like a monster emerging from a bubbling tank. Developers, instead of planning and executing with their users in mind, end up creating technological solutions over which they ultimately have little control. Like mad scientists, they fail because they have not imbued their creations with humanity.” – Alan Cooper, Author

Use UX principles to generate the behaviour you want from your audience:

Findability precedes usability. In the alphabet and on the Web. You can’t use what you can’t find.” – Peter Morville, President, Semantic Studios

 “ Friction in design is helpful if it facilitates the interaction instead of [getting] in the way of it.” – Sangeet Choudary, Founder, Platform Thinking Labs

It’s about catching customers in the act, and providing highly relevant and highly contextual information.” – Paul Maritz

 “Like the perfect score to a film, a good user experience is unobtrusive and transparent to the consumer because ‘it just works.” – Jeffrey Olson, Senior Director,

Take a holistic view:

Spend as much time on copy as you do on visuals.” – John Zeratsky, Design Partner, Google Ventures

The idea is to focus development not only on the UX, but what the UX enables, and-most crucially-what we want to happen after the UX.” – Kathy Sierra, Programming instructor

If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.” – Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

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