Abuser Experience (AX) is related to people who abuse a product and in return they want the product to do all kinds of things, things that the product wasn’t designed or built for. When you design a product you should ask the question: is this feature for a nonuser, an user or an abuser?
Let’s take for example Adobe Photoshop. The latest versions of once a great product is a complete mess. 3D features in a product name that starts with “photo”? Video features in a product name that starts with “photo”? Animation features in a product name that starts with “photo”? Now people are “shopping” somewhere else for different tools with different purposes. Others are literally “photo-shopping” with Pictura inside Photoshop.
Let’s take for example Microsoft Windows. Windows 95/98/98SE were a god sent gift to humanity. They had the perfect balance of well designed and integrated software experience. No kidding. Please, be careful that in those times there was simply no competition for Microsoft products. Designing a good product in those times was even harder than today when you can look at what the competition is doing wrong. In the later versions Microsoft tend to take abusers input for granted. They ended up with products that look and work like crap.
People can be split in three big categories and they all are important to a product success:
Nonusers the people you actually need, fans, enthusiasts, etc. Users the people you should really care about Abusers the people you should mostly ignore
Abusers should be ignored because they return later to the product and they become one of the most happiest customers. Abusers were those who asked Apple to add all kinds of features to iPod line of products. Apple simply ignored their input and in return, iPod became the most recognized product in the world — an icon on its own.