Gaby Prado

Experience Design and Strategy Consultant

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Experience of an original vs a copy

I needed a folding bicycle, so I went to the bike shop to see and try different options.
I had previously tried (and loved) the Brompton, and the Mahon (okay, but felt clumsy)
My budget was somewhat flexible, but I was hoping to get something cheaper. I was willing to forego comfort, or size, but not both.

I saw a bike that looked just like the Brompton: same folded size, same frame, but loads more features. It was a korean-made bike, unknown brand, and 30% cheaper.

I bought it.
I was told that it might require some initial readjustments but other than that, I was just avoiding paying a brand and getting something really good.

The copy was good, but it felt all wrong. It felt clunky. Nothing quite fitted first time, and riding it was rather uncomfortable.

The Brompton is good because every little detail is taken care of.
Everything fits right into place, and riding it feels as smooth as the folding and unfolding process.

The same happens with websites and apps.
It is all too easy -and frequent- that one might be tempted to copy functionalities found here and there.
But without understanding details, without having organically grown the whole from the start, it is too hard -if at all possible- to create an exceptional user experience.

A copy feels soul-less, a detached rational approach when the user experience is also an emotional engagement.

So before copying we should ask ourselves – and our client: “does that -as good as it is or looks- really fit smoothly and coherently with everything else?

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