User Experience

UX Design

Are User Xperienced? A UX designer, New York

UX designer, New York

What does the user experience? Does he find what he is looking for? Does he find MORE than what he is looking for?

And most importantly – does he (or she) come back?

UX – User Experience is often misinterpreted as the interface or the design or the architecture. It’s not just this, it’s the total holistic experience. The user does not see a website from the eyes of the developer, the designer or the entrepreneur. He sees the totality, and that is the experience.

 

As a UX designer, New York, my FAVOURITE UX PROJECTS

MetLife People Finder self service profile

World Trade Centre Global Intranet

OUP Encyclopaedia of Social Work

User experience (UX) is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.

 

Definitions

ISO 9241-210 defines user experience as “a person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service”. According to the ISO definition user experience includes all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. The ISO also list three factors that influence user experience: system, user and the context of use.

Note 3 of the standard hints that usability addresses aspects of user experience, e.g. “usability criteria can be used to assess aspects of user experience”. Unfortunately, the standard does not go further in clarifying the relation between user experience and usability. Clearly, the two are overlapping concepts, with usability including pragmatic aspects (getting a task done) and user experience focusing on users’ feelings stemming both from pragmatic and hedonic aspects of the system.

 

History

The term user experience was brought to wider knowledge by Donald Norman, User Experience Architect, in the mid-1990s. Several developments affected the rise of interest in the user experience:

 

  1. Recent advances in mobile, ubiquitous, social, and tangible computing technologies have moved human-computer interaction into practically all areas of human activity. This has led to a shift away from usability engineering to a much richer scope of user experience, where user’s feelings, motivations, and values are given as much, if not more, attention than efficiency, effectiveness and basic subjective satisfaction (i.e. the three traditional usability metrics[5]).[6]
  2. In website design, it was important to combine the interests of different stakeholders: marketing, branding, visual design, and usability. Marketing and branding people needed to enter the interactive world where usability was important. Usability people needed to take marketing, branding, and aesthetic needs into account when designing web-sites. User experience provided a platform to cover the interests of all stakeholders: making web sites easy to use, valuable, and effective for visitors. This is why several early user-experience publications focus on web-site user experience.

 

The field of user experience was established to cover the holistic perspective to how a person feels about using a system. The focus is on pleasure and value rather than on performance. The exact definition, framework, and elements of user experience are still evolving.

 

Influences on user experience

Many factors can influence a user’s experience with a system. To address the variety, factors influencing user experience have been classified into three main categories: user’s state and previous experience, system properties, and the usage context (situation). Studying typical users, contexts and their interaction helps designing the system.

 

Momentary emotion or overall user experience

Single experiences influence the overall user experience: the experience of a key click affects the experience of typing a text message, the experience of typing a message affects the experience of text messaging, and the experience of text messaging affects the overall user experience with the phone. The overall user experience is not simply a sum of smaller interaction experiences, because some experiences are more salient than others. Overall user experience is also influenced by factors outside the actual interaction episode: brand, pricing, friends’ opinions, reports in media, etc.

One branch in user experience research focuses on emotions, that is, momentary experiences during interaction: designing affective interaction and evaluating emotions. Another branch is interested in understanding the long-term relation between user experience and product appreciation. Especially industry sees good overall user experience with a company’s products as critical for securing brand loyalty and enhancing the growth of customer base. All temporal levels of user experience (momentary, episodic, and long-term) are important, but the methods to design and evaluate these levels can be very different.

 

User Experience
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