The meaning of User Experience (UX) (Part 1 of 3)

User Experience has been quite a hot topic over the last number of years and there has been a lot of discussion on what it means or doesn’t mean in different contexts.   My first task in my Ph.D. is on Positive User Experiences is to try to get a handle on UX and after an initial trawl through academic papers, digital agency websites, UX interest groups and discussions, this is the picture that I see starting to emerge..

Woordle image of UX

Some initial observations:
  • UX is about the interaction between humans and technology
  • UX starts with the Usability of a system e.g ease of use, efficiency and satisfaction
  • However UX is much more than just usability and the bigger picture encompasses concepts such as users emotions and feelings, needs and motivations (see UX part 2 )
  • At one end of the UX journey, the focus  is on customer needs, branding, satisfaction and marketing
  • UX is also about more effective user- centred designs; identity and aesthetics are important
  • Digital Agencies talk of UX in terms of connection to customers, brand, content, actionable results, flow, design, conversion and accessibility
  • Academic discussions focus on UX as an Experience or a phenomena which is contextualised, social, individual and dynamic

**Got any comments or know of any great resources related to what UX is?   Please leave me a comment!

Two websites in particular I have found useful.

www.allabout.ux.org                                     

www.interaction-design.org

And just started using Mendeley – Free pdf organiser and reference tool.  Well worth a look.

Up next – part 2 of 2 – The Psychology of  User Experiences…

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