UX Honeycomb “7+1”

Peter Morville’s UX Honeycomb (2004) presents seven aspects of user experience design. This is the holistic approach when it comes to getting the best results, although I feel like something is missing. The wheel is not turning the way it should. That’s why I added another attribute to the diagram: Durability.

7 UX honeycomb + Durable attribute

There are seven days in the week, seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, seven deadly sins, seven virtues, seven arts and sciences, and seven ages of man. In ancient times, the number seven was known as the Age of Septimus, and it still plays a role in our lives today. To improve the user experience, I added the “Durable” (or “Longevity”) aspect and tried to give meaning to the number 8, “7+1”. As a result of this attribute, the wheel turns better and better to infinity, resulting in a more pleasing exploration of our products.

As we discover from our purchases, consumption encourages experimentation, familiarization, learning new things, and improvement of products. Even though it sounds fine when I write it, this viewpoint is not entirely healthy. By replacing things every six months, we often fail to appreciate the products we want. Our egos or arrogance grow larger and larger as do our expectations. Who was behind this? Why did it get made? What resources were used to create this item? When did it get started? These are reasonable inquiries to ask before purchasing something to preserve our modesty and keep our money in our pockets for a later purchase.

There were products created in the 70s that survived until today. An example that comes to mind is a washing machine. A product like this used weekly if not daily, could have lasted 20 to 30 years. Marketing showed us a different side of the coin and introduced the so-called “planned obsolescence” for our main items.

Planned obsolescence describes the practice of designing products to break quickly or become obsolete in the short to mid-term. The general idea behind this is to encourage sales of new products and upgrades, a practice that has been banned in some countries. (Google)

Worker illustrations by Storyset

“In 1960, cultural critic Vance Packard published The Waste Makers, promoted as an exposé of “the systematic attempt of business to make us wasteful, debt-ridden, permanently discontented individuals”. Packard divided planned obsolescence into two sub-categories: obsolescence of desirability and obsolescence of function.” (Wikipedia)

Another example of programmed obsolescence is in our courtyard: web development and design. The scope is to create older versions of software (e.g. Adobe Flash Player or YouTube’s Android application) unserviceable deliberately, even though they would technically, albeit not economically, be able to keep working as intended. Is all about money and how to get more of this game.

Design … is an attempt to make a contribution through change. When no contribution is made or can be made, the only process available for giving the illusion of change is “styling”! (designer George Nelson)

As we approach our UX Honeycomb, my question is: how does the “Durable” aspect impact and empower the user’s experience? I’ve used Katerina Karagianni’s optimised diagram of the honeycomb. This is because she draws useful connections between its disparate parts to convey how users use products, and how they think and feel about them. With one remark: I added in the “Use” section, “Durable”. I will not get too much into describing the seven aspects presented with the UX Honeycomb (Useful, Usable, Findable, Credible, Desirable, Accessible, Valuable) as there is a lot of information regarding those. Therefore, my next focus will be pointed to the concept of durability.

Durability, according to Cambridge University, “is the capacity to withstand damage over an extended period”. Regrettably, as was already noted, we often purposefully self-“destroy” the things we create to keep getting paid more and more. Let’s take the most popular product in the world — the mobile phone — as an example. When we purchase a smartphone today, a new model will be available in six to twelve months. It goes without saying that the updates offered to render the smartphone, make it useless in two years.


Nobody enjoys having to continually spend money on things they already own. A considerate buyer will typically take care of the product and try to increase its lifespan as much as possible. There are probably not many customers out there who enjoy having to pay more for upgrades or replacements since their items become useless after a short time. We need to show more consideration for our environment, our budget, and the resources we need to make a product. Even while our supplies are renewable, it is difficult to replace them quickly, placing us in a holding pattern.

The quality of “durability” can support our behaviours, wants, and desires in a way that is more trustworthy toward our end users when it comes to UX. If they recognize that we are not deceiving or playing games with them to get “x”% at the end of a trimester, we will feel more confident. Using the durability component can enhance our research, uncover new ways for customers to interact with our products, and most importantly, encourage customers to refer the service or item to their friends. In this approach, brand recognition will be more apparent on the market, boosting it for upcoming generations.

In closing, I’d like to emphasize the importance of having confidence in both one another and the things we use regularly. We want to spend as much time as possible getting to know someone or a product. The beginning of the friendship is also the point at which everything starts to flourish. I wish you can experience this!

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