UX, marketing, and research


So a few things have caught my attention over the past few weeks. First is the release of a game that was highly anticipated called, “No Man’s Sky”. It offered some visually stunning graphics and a nearly endless galaxy for players to explore. Well, as soon as players got their hands on it, it didn’t take long for them to register their frustration with the product. Bad graphics, poorly thought out gameplay, etc. It was not what I’d call a smashing success.

The second thing is the release of the new iPhone and the lack of an audio jack. Apple is trying to push this technology but users are not as happy as Apple would have hoped. It’s expensive, harder to use, more prone to loss, etc.

So my question is this; Are these apparent failures a problem with UX, marketing, poor research, or a combination of elements? I’m curious and would like to hear some of your thoughts on this.


Ha. I’ve been involved in a few discussions over this one in the last few days. I don’t think this is a failure. I think its smart. The headphone jack was an issue for waterproofing, and the headphone jack to lightening cable adapter solves the issue AFAIK.

While that isn’t what you asked, I think it probably speaks to the topic. Can you please all of the people all of the time? Should you design by committee or should you appeal to the needs of the largest target audience? So much of this comes down to a combo of hype and tall poppy syndrome I reckon.

Curious to hear other opinions too! (Great topic Max.)


Interesting thoughts. In No Man’s Sky, I would say that it was successful marketing and failed in game design. (Sweet! Neigh-infinite worlds! Aaaaand nothing to do on them but point at trees and laser them for resources). In a way it was a victim of its own hype, but ultimately I blame the lack of good game design for not living up to even a fraction of the marketing.

I’ve always thought that marketing’s main concern is with user desires and UX’s main concern is with user needs. There’s understandable overlap, as sometimes they are the same thing… and ideally they should support each other. You can have a product that does everything a user needs in the way that they need it, but that doesn’t do much good if no one knows about it. And of course you can have great marketing and completely fail at living up to the promise.

Honestly, when it comes to Apple, they have always been a weird mix of great and terrible UX. It’s a real head-scratcher. On the one hand, the iPhone really did set the bar for intuitive touch interfaces when it came out. And yet I still can’t navigate my way through iTunes. And hey, they’ve always made very strange product decisions. Like adhering to a single-button mouse for so many years or restricting the ways in which people can transfer photos from their phones. I think Apple adores good design and usability, but their need for control trumps even that.


I like @redrobinmeyer 's comments :slight_smile:.
Being a gamer myself, there can often be issues where marketing produces shiny trailers of what game play is going to be like (often not very accurate, so people have kind of come to expect this). But I think one thing here that this points to is alpha/beta testing. I think for games this is really really important (knowing testing is important for everything!), as it shows you off the bat, how people interact, their pain points and frustrations. Unfortunately due to complications around developments, money, resources, and how far they got before they tested, they can have issues improving on the issues. Depending on the issue, it can be so frustrating it can put the person off from the immersive gaming experience.

In terms of Apple. I have mixed feelings. A positive is the cords won’t get tangled in your drawers anymore, or broken due to wire pulling! But my other point is that if anyone is like me, I’d loose one, and then only have one ear piece >< .