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User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design that pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models that impact a user's perception of a device or system. The scope of the field is directed at affecting "all aspects of the user’s interaction with the product: how it is perceived, learned, and used." [1]

Contents

The user experience

User experience, most often abbreviated UX, but sometimes UE, is a term used to describe the overarching experience a person has as a result of their interactions with a particular product or service, its delivery, and related artifacts, according to their design. As with its related term, User Interface Design, prefixing "User" associates it primarily (though not exclusively) with digital media, especially interactive software. It most commonly refers to the result of a planned integration of software design, business, and psychology concerns. It can apply to the result of any interaction design. Voice User Interface (VUI) systems, for instance, are frequently mentioned as a type of user interface that can lead to a poor user experience.

In the web world, user experience is sometimes conflated with usability, information architecture (IA), and user interface (UI) design, all of which are components of it. User experience addresses and integrates all user-facing aspects of a company, from email and web sites to off-site presence in print and on other sites.

For a more generalized usage, which may include reference to physical environments, see experience design.

The designers

This field has its roots in human factors and ergonomics, a field that since the late 1940s has been focusing on the interaction between human users, machines and the contextual environments to design systems that address the user's experience. [2] The term also has a more recent connection to user-centered design principles and also incorporates elements from similar user-centered design fields.

As with the fields mentioned above, user experience design is a highly multi-disciplinary field, incorporating aspects of psychology, anthropology, computer science, graphic design, industrial design and cognitive science. Depending on the purpose of the product, UX may also involve content design disciplines such as communication design, instructional design, or game design. The subject matter of the content may also warrant collaboration with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on planning the UX from various backgrounds in business, government, or private groups.

The design

User experience design incorporates most or all of the above disciplines to positively impact the overall experience a person has with a particular interactive system, and its provider. User experience design most frequently defines a sequence of interactions between a user (individual person) and a system, virtual or physical, designed to meet or support user needs and goals, primarily, while also satisfying systems requirements and organizational objectives.

Typical outputs include:

  • Site Audit (usability study of existing assets)
  • Flows and Navigation Maps
  • User stories or Scenarios
  • Persona (Fictitious users to act out the scenarios)
  • Site Maps and Content Inventory
  • Wireframes (screen blueprints or storyboards)
  • Prototypes (For interactive or in-the-mind simulation)
  • Written specifications (describing the behavior or design)
  • Graphic mockups (Precise visual of the expected end result)

Benefits

User experience design is integrated into software development and other forms of application development in order to inform feature requirements and interaction plans based upon the user's goals. New introduction of software must keep in mind the dynamic pace of technology advancement and the need for change. The benefits associated with integration of these design principles include:

  • Reducing excessive features which miss the needs of the user
  • Improving the overall usability of the system
  • Expediting design and development through detailed and properly conceived guidelines
  • Incorporating business and marketing goals while catering to the user

See also

References

  1. ^ Donald Norman: Invisible Computer: Why Good Products Can Fail, the Personal Computer Is So Complex and Information Appliances Are the Solution. MIT Press. 1999, ISBN 978-0262640411
  2. ^ Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. HFES History.

Further reading

External links

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