2 years ago
TechAtHeart
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Walt Disney: The World's First UX Designer?
This past week I went to a great info-session on my campus where some Disney Imagineers came to share about the Walt Disney Company and what they are working on in tech. They spoke about their MagicBand, a wearable that is being used in Walt Disney World. This MagicBand allows guests to not only go in and out of the park, but it works as their room key, wallet, and ID. Their focus? Improving the experience of their customers. I'm super interested in UI/UX and I got thinking about how Walt Disney was definitely a great innovator in this area. I have never been able to go to an amusement park that can top the magic you feel when you are at Disneyland. I found this great article over at UX Magazine written by Joseph Dickerson titled, "Walt Disney: The World's First UX Designer". I agree with so many points that he shares. I'm not sure if I would call Disney the "first" ever UX designer, but he is definitely a great one! It's quite lengthy, so I will share with you here some interesting points: • Disney focused on creating many special and unique moments so his customers would be happy and willing to return • Disney believed in "plussing" - incrementally improving details and elements of an experience...not necessarily adding more elements but fixing parts that did not work • Disney gave customer options when designing the park - 4 different lands with unique themes meant customers could choose to spend their time in one or visit different ones • Disney took risks. When opening up Disneyland and making the Snow White film, he invested a tremendous amount of money...and they were successful • Use data to make things better! Disney was one of the first to take analytical data to improve the park's efficiency, such as long lines and selling of food. [Source: http://uxmag.com/articles/walt-disney-the-worlds-first-ux-designer]
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I always wanted to be an Imagineer when I was little. They always used to have those interviews and behind the scenes segments with them on Disney channel and I was so set on my future!!
I remember watching a documentary about all of the 'risks' they took making snow white that are now common practices, such as layering the illustrated scenery! Disney was truly ahead of his time.
Walt Disney was a huge part of the success of the overall franchise: without him pushing the others around him from their traditional ideas, Disney would not be what it is today.
@galinda, I want to watch this documentary you speak of! @greggr I agree, his way of thinking was so revolutionary at the time :)
@TechAtHeart I'm pretty sure it was on Disney channel when I was really young so you might have to do some digging for it haha