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User Experience

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User experience design is a subset of the field of experience design which pertains to the creation of the architecture and interaction models which 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.'



Design Essentials for Non-Designers

This tutorial is intended for practitioners who have come to interaction design from a research, psychology, information architecture, or other non-design background. It focuses on what happens after the requirements are done and before you build your first prototype. Design fields such as graphic arts, architecture, and industrial design have long-standing practices for innovative design, and these apply well to interaction design.

Schrag, John and Ian Hooper. Designing the User Experience at Autodesk (2009). Design>User Experience>Interaction Design


Design for Emotion and Flow

We create software and websites to display and represent information to people. That information could be anything; a company’s product list, pictures of your vacation, or an instant message from a friend. At this moment, there’s more information available to you than at any other time in history.

van Gorp, Trevor. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Design>Web Design>User Experience>Emotions


Design for Emotion: Ready for the Next Decade?

The experience profile of a product can be described in terms of these experiential components. Once such an experience profile has been properly defined, it must be translated in all product properties the designer can affect. It has an effect on the sensorial aspects of the product, but also on the way it functions, it affects the way people operate the product and even the way the product is marketed. In sum, the profile has an impact on all aspects that together shape the human-product interaction.

Hekkert, Paul and Pieter Desmet. uiGarden (2007). Design>User Interface>User Centered Design>User Experience


Design for Fingers and Thumbs Instead of Touch

Until recently, Josh Clark’s charts of thumb-sweep ranges represented the state of the art in understanding touch interactions. In creating his charts, Josh surmised that elements at the top of the screen—and especially those on the opposite side from the thumb, or in the upper-left corner for right-handers—were hard to reach, and thus, designers should place only rare or dangerous actions in that location. Since then, we’ve seen that people stretch and shift their grip to reach targets anywhere on the screen, without apparent complaint. The iPhone’s Back button doesn’t appear to present any particular hardship to users. So the assumption behind those charts seems to be wrong—at least in the theory behind it. But are there other critical constraints at work? I am starting to think that it’s time for us to start designing for fingers and thumbs instead of for touch.

Hoober, Steven. UXmatters (2013). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Mobile


Design for Interaction: Ideation and Design Principles

Once you’ve come up with tons of ideas, how do you choose which ones are worth pursuing? You use a set of design principles that will not only help select the best ideas, but guide the design through refinement, prototyping, development, and beyond. But first, let’s diverge and come up with concepts.

Saffer, Dan. Johnny Holland (2009). Design>User Experience>Interaction Design


Design for the Dream Economy

After the eras of the Commodity Economy, the Manufacturing Economy, the Service Economy and the Information Economy, we have now entered the era of the Dream Economy. The key to success in the Dream Economy is an in-depth and holistic understanding of people. It's not only about meeting people's practical needs, but also about meeting their aspirations and providing a positive emotional experience.

Jordan, Pat. uiGarden (2007). Design>User Centered Design>User Experience


Design Is a Process, Not a Methodology

Provides an overview of a product design process, then discusses some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2010). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design>Collaboration


Design Partners: Passing on the Knowledge of UX

The two main drivers for a successful relationship were to respect each other’s opinion and to use active listening to understand what the other was saying.

Richkus, Rebecca. Designing the User Experience at Autodesk (2009). Articles>Knowledge Management>User Experience>Collaboration


Design Pricing: It's Never Just About the Price

Setting proper pricing for your UX design work is crucial. It goes hand in hand with setting your customer’s expectations. Set the price too low and you will gain reputation of the same kind. Set it high – you will also set high expectations. If you can deliver on them – then keep it that way. Reason: it’s never just about the price.

UX Passion (2009). Articles>User Experience>Pricing>Project Management


Design Research Methods for Experience Design

There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Research>Methods


Designers' Roles in Communicating with Users

Defining 'the user experience' is difficult since it can extend to nearly everything in someone's interaction with a product, from the text on a search button, to the color scheme, to the associations it evokes, to the tone of the language used to describe it, to the customer support. Understanding the relationship between these elements requires a different kind of research than merely timing how quickly a task is accomplished or testing to see how memorable the logo is.

Light, Ann. Usability News (2003). Design>User Centered Design>Communication>User Experience


Designing and Selecting Components for UIs

I have to think much harder when I design rich interfaces than when I work on standard Web applicaitons. With the increased flexibility and more components comes a higher risk of making silly mistakes. If I use a component inappropriately, users can't figure out what to do, even though the components may look cool.

Spencer, Donna. UX Magazine (2010). Articles>User Interface>Programming>User Experience


Designing Better Experiences Through Data

The key to creating great service experiences lies with uncovering data and using it in meaningful contexts that have real benefits to users. Recent advances in wearable tech, location-based data and sensors are driving greater interest by consumers in personalized data experiences. Google Glass and the Nike FuelBand are pushing boundaries on what users can expect inside the services of tomorrow. For designers, however, data presents a very interesting challenge: How can we better understand the value of data and leverage it to make digital experiences more meaningful?

Napolitano, Jason. UX Magazine (2013). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Log Analysis


Designing Ethical Experiences: Social Media and the Conflicted Future

Questions of ethics and conflict can seem far removed from the daily work of user experience (UX) designers who are trying to develop insights into people's needs, understand their outlooks, and design with empathy for their concerns [2]. In fact, the converse is true: When conflicts between businesses and customers--or any groups of stakeholders--remain unresolved, UX practitioners frequently find themselves facing ethical dilemmas, searching for design compromises that satisfy competing camps. This dynamic is the essential pattern by which conflicts in goals and perspectives become ethical concerns for UX designers. Unchecked, it can lead to the creation of unethical experiences that are hostile to users--the very people most designers work hard to benefit--and damaging to the reputations and brand identities of the businesses responsible.

Lamantia, Joe. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Community Building>Ethics


Designing Ethical Experiences: Understanding Juicy Rationalizations

Designers rationalize their choices just as much as everyone else. But we also play a unique role in shaping the human world by creating the expressive and functional tools many people use in their daily lives. Our decisions about what is and is not ethical directly impact the lives of a tremendous number of people we will never know. Better understanding of the choices we make as designers can help us create more ethical user experiences for ourselves and for everyone.

Lamantia, Joe. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Ethics


Designing Exceptional Mobile Experiences

If you were to draft a profile for a UX thought leader, you'd likely come up with something that closely resembled Kim Lenox. Known for resetting the perimeters of everyday problem solving, Kim has devoted her career to making life—if not the world—better through user experience design.

Lenox, Kim and Timothy J. Wood. UX Magazine (2009). Articles>User Experience>Mobile


Designing for B2B and Enterprise Applications

It's not uncommon to hear people complaining about the poor user experience of some B2B and enterprise applications. Read through these top tips to help you design enterprise applications that offer a better user experience and increase productivity.

Baxevanis, Alexander. Webcredible (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Centered Design>User Experience


Designing for Bridge Experiences

The practice of user experience lacks the historical pedigree of many of its constituent elements, including human/computer interaction, library science, social-science research methods, product-development methodology, and, most of all, design. What it does enjoy, however, is a pragmatic, multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the intertwined social, economic, and technological forces it engages. It's a contingent amalgamation--an assembly of what works--and a set of perspectives and problem-solving techniques that define how we, as practitioners, think about creating products and services.

Grossman, Joel. UXmatters (2006). Articles>User Experience


Designing for Limited Resources

Even in an ideal world, designs must optimise both the user experience and the business return. When resources are limited, the design must be optimised to make the best use of all resources as well. To account for this complexity, it is important to have a clear understanding of both sides of the design equation--what you have to work with and what you are trying to build.

Quinn, Laura S. Boxes and Arrows (2004). Articles>User Experience>Design


Designing for Mobile Superpower

Modern mobile experiences must answer to steep user expectations with rich and secure interactions regardless of context. As designers, we negotiate a razor-thin margin between too little (restricting features and content to fit small screens) and too much (complicating interactions with irrelevant web-legacy elements). Yet our users’ horizons are vast beyond a single screen. The experience we build has to inhabit the multiple touch points within their daily digital ecosystem. Content is the central component.

Proulx, Joanna. UX Magazine (2013). Articles>Content Management>User Experience>Mobile


Designing for Nonprofits: User Experience Professionals Can Make a Difference in Society

As information architects, interaction designers, usability consultants, and developers, we don't have to change our careers to do something good for society. All we have to do is connect with the right nonprofit: One that shares our goals and whose mission we support.

Sanchez-Howard, Olga. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Nonprofit


Designing for Tomorrow

When designing a client’s next big website, we like to think ahead of the best-practice curve. Technology changes fast and there is always a risk that what is great today will be so-so six months later, and positively tired in two years. So how can you design something that maintains lasting relevance? Accurately predicting the future is very difficult, but there are some good ways to provide a chronological perspective that can inspire your designs. This article will introduce the basics of trend analysis and highlight some observed trends relevant to technology design:

Duhig, Jonathan. UX Magazine (2011). Articles>Web Design>User Experience


Designing for Web Services

Many technology companies, consultants, and academics are hyping the future of Web services. But how will this background transfer of data between applications affect the user experience?

Lombardi, Victor. New Architect (2002). Design>Web Design>Content Management>User Experience


Designing Speculative Household Cleaning

Aging in place is a high priority for today’s elderly population, but little is known about how age affects mundane domestic activities. To make older adult’s desire a reality, design researchers must continue to understand elders’ needs and design products that respond to them. Presented is a human-centered approach to designing cleaning products. The project resulted in: 1) an initial understanding how aging changes older adults’ ability to clean their homes and 2) a collection of speculative cleaning products that demonstrate how greater empathy for elderly users can motivate innovative design.

Wyche, Susan P. AIGA (2006). Articles>User Experience>Usability>Elderly


Designing the Democratic

The role of the information architect (IA), interaction designer, or user experience (UX) designer is to help create architecture and interactions which will impact the user in constructive, meaningful ways. Sometimes the design choices are strategic and affect a broad interaction environment; other times they may be tactical and detailed, affecting few. But sometimes the design choices we make are not good enough for the users we’re trying to reach. Often a sense of democratic responsibility is missing in the artifacts and experiences which result from our designs and decisions.

Owen, Jamie. Boxes and Arrows (2009). Articles>Information Design>User Experience>Participatory Design



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