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What's best to make people buy in, sponsor and support UX within businesses without it?

The other day I was reading an article that mentioned that Samsung was losing to apple a battle for consumer experience due to the lack of a retail store. The article argued about how the apple experience starts within the store, which happens to be the perfect environment for the apple gear to shine, and that is where it captivates its users, and blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda...

It is my perception is, that when Steve Jobs envisioned the store, he knew what he wanted and he didn't know why, he had a hunch, empowered by the need to make great products, rather than market, cognitive or UX research. That way under his vision, Ron Johnson ended up cracking an insanely great retail store as a result of a lot of material and architecture design discrimination, SJ's Reality distortion field and his industrial design tantrums (like the stairs).

So basically, he wanted a place he'd consider good enough to glorify Apple products, rather than designing a round-marketing-experience for the sake of selling. It was about the product, not about the money.

So, going back to the title of the post: Are Aesthetic-Functional Heuristic driven companies better at UX than those that try to incorporate Empirically Based Research without the "feeling"?

What I would like to find out is if there any supporting evidence such as case studies or other sources that highlight the importance of what has been historically better (aesthetic-functional heuristics or research).

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closed as not a real question by André, JohnGB, Matt Obee, dhmstark, Charles Wesley Mar 7 '13 at 16:26

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I love the question as a discussion, but unfortunately discussion questions are not allowed on this site. – JohnGB Mar 7 '13 at 10:39
It would have been better if you were more specific about your comment, other than just saying that is wrong. But thanks anyway (+1) – edgarator Mar 7 '13 at 11:06
I didn't say that it was wrong, just that it was a discussion type question, and that is what is not allowed. What's wrong is that it's a discussion and not something answerable in anything other than opinion. – JohnGB Mar 7 '13 at 11:27
I amended it @JohnGB, hope it's better now. – edgarator Mar 7 '13 at 11:31
Like the question as it stands now, hope it gets reopened. +1 – obelia Mar 7 '13 at 17:22

On the contrary; it is my perception is, that when he envisioned the store, he did it out of a hunch, rather than market, cognitive or UX research, and as the product of the artistic and functional snobbery he practiced

I think your perception is incorrect ;-)

For a start the vision behind the Apple Stores was driven by Ron Johnson not Steve Jobs. He was also the man behind Target's success before he joined Apple. And now he's the man behind JC Penny's relaunch. He has a stupid amount of retail experience. He didn't do the Apple Store's on a hunch.

The Apple Store was created from all that I have read and heard as a direct response to the poor marketing and sales of Apple products in third party stores - which was an obvious problem too all concerned at the time.

Now the solution of a high-end retail store might not have been the most obvious one - but it was certainly addressing a large and obvious problem.

So, going back to the title of the post. Is UX better pursued when you have an aesthetic and functional oriented OCD, or can it be bought from corporations that doesn't get UX and see everything in terms of budget and deadlines, in the form of UX practitioners backed in science?


And by that I mean I think you're drawing a contrast between things that are not fundamentally opposed.

Data informs design. Design informs the data we look for.

There is no conflict. Smart companies do both.

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+1 I'm citing Isaacson's book again: "He [Steve Jobs] didn't want an iMac to sit on a shelf between a Dell and a Compaq while an uninformed clerk recited the specs of each. 'Unless we could find ways to get our message to customers at the store, we were screwed. In great secrecy, Jobs began in late 1999 to interview executives who might be able to develop a string of Apple retail stores. One of the candidates had a passion for design and the boyish enthusiasm of a natural born retailer: Ron Johnson" So, SJ had the vision, Ron Johnson executed it. I think I wrote my Q poorly. I amended it. – edgarator Mar 7 '13 at 11:18

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