The Era of Experience: How the Rise of User Experience Is Transforming Change Management

UX is all about change, and it’s quickly changing the world as we know it

Over the past 30 years, the term ‘User Experience’ (UX) has risen from obscurity and established itself as a driving force behind virtually all our modern products and services. UX design concepts have reached beyond digital interfaces and permeated the meeting rooms of diverse industries. It’s not a small thing; it’s a reflection of a greater trend in our economy and the population as a whole: people are more interested than ever in spending money on experiences over material possessions. This is reflected in the data too; since 1987, the share of consumer spending on live experiences and events relative to total U.S. consumer spending increased by 70%.

There is no doubt that the Era of Experience is on our horizon. Making an active effort to embrace UX can be the factor that elevates your product or service to the next level, and this is especially applicable in the field of Change Management. In this emerging era, it is fundamental that change managers embrace user experience concepts.

What is UX?

Like most trends that experience rapid growth, User Experience can sometimes be difficult to define. It’s not a coincidence that the term has grown in conjunction with the Digital Revolution that started in the 1980's. The concept of UX gained traction to address the accessibility gap that began forming during the development of early digital technology. Back then, engineers and developers had one primary goal: how can we make this new technology work? It was an important goal, one that brought forth many incredible digital innovations – and a myriad of painful experiences. Unclear interfaces, primitive graphics, and poor instructions are just a few factors that made using these technologies particularly difficult and inaccessible to most people. It’s only in the last three decades that we’ve seen a real and powerful push among designers towards refining these existing technologies by tailoring them to the user, starting with the establishment of a new goal: how can we make this technology work for humans?