The UXer’s Dilemma. Consumer vs. Enterprise vs. Platform UX, how different the UX approach should be?

After decades of brain crunching on articulating consumer UX and enterprise UX approach, I am at another cross road where platform UX needs an approach.

Well nobody is talking about platform UX yet. But my guess is that the nuts and bolts of it is getting formalised. If you have some insights, please share.

This morning I was thinking about the differences between these 3 in terms of UX intervention objectives. Here is a snapshot.

The UXer’s Dilemma. Consumer vs. Enterprise vs. Platform UX. How the mindsets vary for different UX interventions.
The UXer’s Dilemma. Consumer vs. Enterprise vs. Platform UX

Consumer UX

The whole interaction between a user and an offering that enables personal, emotional and social gratification.

Target User: Anybody looking for options to access a specific offering from the marketplace.

Target Mindset: Dreamer and Social.

  • Dreamer mindset depends on doers and believes that everything is possible and keeps wanting for more.
  • Social mindset looks at exploring new and get influenced by social dynamics.

UX Intervention Approach:

  • Understand the voice of business
  • Research consumers
  • Identify user scenarios. Articulate challenges and opportunities through user stories.
  • Design, see it in action and iterate
  • Validate with technical team and iterate
  • Support during deployment
  • Observe and evolve continuously

Enterprise UX

The targeted interaction between a user and business processes that enables increased productivity through workflow and process driven collaboration.

Target User: Business users looking at increasing their productivity, efficiency and complete their jobs well.

Target Mindset: Fear and Productive.

  • Fear mindset focuses on task completion because that’s the job or livelihood and experience takes a backseat.
  • Productive mindset is about making the most out of available time in a context and complete tasks efficiently.

UX Intervention Approach:

  • Understand voice of business
  • Shadow business users
  • Identify user scenarios. Write user stories and prioritise.
  • Co-ideate with stakeholders for perspectives, boundary conditions and feasibility
  • Design, test with business user panel and iterate
  • Validate with technical team
  • Support during deployment
  • Listen to user feedback and evolve

Platform UX

The interaction between a user and a set of contents, applications, processes, services or people that enables creation of discrete solutions to match unique contexts.

Target User: Subject matter experts looking for an integrated set of technologies to accomplish a complex goal with relative ease.

Target Mindset: Business and Growth.

  • Business mindset focuses on serving others by making individual or team capabilities available for a commercial consideration.
  • Growth mindset is about constantly challenging oneself; hence freedom to do stuff on her own way and ability to change things as she wishes is very important.

UX Intervention Approach:

  • Understand the voice of business
  • Document the processes, applications and contents
  • Learn how experts are accomplishing their goals in the said context
  • Identify repeatable activities and tasks that can be automatically completed or be completed with ease through system guidance.
  • Identify unique experience zones where user needs to be in control.
  • Design layouts and interaction models that can satisfy integrated interactions between processes, applications and contents.
  • Enable user to modify the model on demand.
  • Design, test with target experts and iterate
  • Validate with technical team
  • Support during deployment
  • Listen to user feedback and evolve


Ultimately UX is about users. But users are not just bunch of people. What they need, in what context and under what mindset defines their unique position in the UX universe. Whether consumer, enterprise or platform, the same users can display different mindsets while using them. Hence approach can’t be uniform.

Do you have some thoughts to share?

Aurobinda Pradhan

Co-founder of PeepalDesign, RapidUX & e60Labs, Alumni of IITB, IIMB. Over 16 years of experience in designing and managing UX projects. International trainer for UX-PM (

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