UX is a Defensible Investment

by Kevin Makice

An interesting case is made for why good UI isn’t easily copied:

I’ll use the easy and oft-cited example of Apple. The iPhone UX seems pretty darn easy to copy, right? But as Jeff Veen notes in his Startup2Startup talk, mimicking the UX of another well designed service will not lead to the same success because the mimicker doesn’t understand why it’s designed the way it is.

The implication is that, like ideas, solutions are cheap but the context of use is where the UX investment resides. Good UX research, especially when tied to material development, can create significant leads in understanding a domain. It isn’t the widgets a company is buying when investing in UX, it’s that lead time.

Adaptive Path (July 5, 2011, by Brandon Schauer)