How to unstab a football with UX

Periodically, I come across the idea that, “experience cannot be designed.”

I’ve always been conflicted when thinking about this question.

Sure, you cannot perfectly predict human behaviour & reactions. But design can make a phenomenal difference in how people react.

My thoughts suddenly snapped into clarity today, when Steve Baty tweeted

“The notion of designing for an experience is not one of control. It’s about having an [emphasis] intent. This isn’t some power/ego trip. ” – @docbaty (original tweet)

To paraphrase:

  • You can’t make people enjoy playing football …
  • But you most certainly can remove the giant spikes from the ball.

Can a User Experience be Designed?


Set out to delight your customers, not control them. To understand & support what they are trying to achieve, not push them to conform to your design.

And remember to unstab your football.