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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.'



Five Ways to Create Better iPad Applications

We've just passed the two-year mark of the iPad being on the market. And with a second milestone of 200,000 iPad applications on the App Store nearing, there's no better time than now to reassess how to approach the UX of iPad applications.Some of the ideas in this article are relevant to all tablets, not just the iPad. But in consideration of the tremendous success of the iPad (73% of all tablet sales last year), it does warrant specific attention and focus. So, without further ado, here are five interface guidelines to (re)consider when approaching the UX and design of iPad applications.

Yarmoush, Ken. UX Magazine (2012). Design>User Interface>User Experience>Mobile


The Five Worst UX Mistakes Websites Make

The user experience of websites has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, but I still run into sites that make me ask, “What were they thinking?!” In the hopes it will help us all avoid these pitfalls, here’s my list of the five worst UX mistakes that I still see people making in website design.

Weinschenk, Susan. UX Magazine (2013). Articles>Web Design>User Experience


Fluency as an Experiential Quality in Augmented Spaces   (peer-reviewed)

The use of digital products and services has expanded from largely instrumental, work-oriented settings to include entertainment, leisure, personal communication, and other classes of hedonistic use. The development of foundational concepts in the interaction design community to succeed usability and utility has lagged behind considerably. I argue that interaction design would benefit from attempts to articulate experiential qualities of digital products and services, and illustrate the approach by presenting the concept of fluency. It refers to the degree of gracefulness with which the user deals with multiple demands for her attention and action, particularly in augmented spaces where the user moves through shifting ecologies of people, physical objects, and digital media. I develop the concept of fluency by analyzing a range of digital artifacts in use situations, addressing the main themes of (1) social norms and practices and (2) peripheral interaction and calm technology. In terms of research methodology, this paper illustrates how design and criticism can be merged to construct elements of transferable knowledge for communication with design-research communities.

Löwgren, Jonas. International Journal of Design (2007). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design


Flywheels, Kinetic Energy, and Friction

Whatever the purpose of the sites you work on, their success depends on visitors doing something. We want our visitors to sign up, or buy, or donate, or download, or apply, or post opinions, or pick up the phone and call us. One way or another if we are to judge our sites as being successful, they have to result in some kind of action on the reader's part.

Usborne, Nick. List Apart, A (2006). Design>Web Design>User Experience


The Foundation of a Great User Experience

I’m part of the AEC User Experience Team at Autodesk. Our goal is to design a great user experience for our customers, but just what does that mean? Our definition of user experience focuses on all the touchpoints that current or new users have with our product. For example, the downloading of software trials is often the beginning of one’s user experience with a product. If you have to fill out forms that ask for too much information, (should “cell phone number” be a required field on a trial download form?) or present you with too many obstacles, the likelihood of a positive user experience will be low. Your interactions with technical support, documentation, the product, and even other products that you use, are all aspects of the user experience.

Wilson, Chauncey E. Designing the User Experience at Autodesk (2009). Articles>User Experience>Usability>User Centered Design


Four Factors of Agile User Experience

One of the most important aspects of the work of designers do on a project is their ability to explain their choices and the reasoning that led to given design solutions--both to their clients and to other member of a product team. Clear communication is vital to the smooth progress of a project, as even a single misunderstanding or communication glitch can lead to mistakes during implementation.

Mascaro, Luca. UXmatters (2007). Design>Web Design>Agile>User Experience


Four Key Principles of Mobile User Experience Design

As I transitioned from academia to industry, I discovered that while mobile UX was discussed, it wasn’t discussed from the same broad frame of reference that I was used to within the confines of a research-based institution. Although more recent mobile UX conversations I have found myself in have undoubtedly benefited from the ongoing smart phone revolution, overall I still find these conversations to be needlessly driven by tactical adoration and lacking a conscious consensus regarding the fundamental principles of the mobile-user experience.

Reese Brown, Dakota. Boxes and Arrows (2009). Articles>User Experience>Mobile


Four Tips for a Great First-Use Experience

It’s impossible to overrstate the importance of a great first-use experience of your product or service. No matter how amazing your product’s capabilities are, if using it feels like a struggle the first time users try your product, you’ll have a hard time wooing them back.

Croce, Warren. UXmatters (2013). Articles>User Experience>Web Design


Framework of Product Experience

In this paper, we introduce a general framework for product experience that applies to all affective responses that can be experienced in human-product interaction. Three distinct components or levels of product experiences are discussed: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. All three components are distinguished in having their own lawful underlying process.

Desmet, Pieter and Paul Hekkert. International Journal of Design (2007). Articles>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction>User Experience


From 0 to 365: My First Year as a Design Executive   (peer-reviewed)

As I reflect on my transition to the role of VP of Product Design, I know that for me, personally, it was an excellent decision. I definitely felt at the time that taking the job was somewhat of a risk as I was leaving behind a world I knew and found very rewarding, but I was ready for the next challenge in my career. I was very fortunate that I landed in an organization that fully supports the initiatives of the design team from the individual engineer to the CEO. I am rewarded by the increased responsibility and challenges that I face on a daily basis. I enjoy the increased accountability and visibility. I have learned a tremendous amount from the insight I have gained into a variety of aspects of the business that the position affords. The hours are long and there is always a fire drill or two, but I have learned to take it in stride. Seeing the growing impact that the design organization is having on the business makes all the hard work worthwhile. This is very fulfilling for me both professionally and personally.

Courage, Catherine. Journal of Usability Studies (2010). Careers>Usability>User Experience>Case Studies


From Design Thinking to Design Doing

t’s hard to imagine a world without the simplicity of the iPad. But just a few short years ago, the clocks on our VCRs blinked the unset time, reminding all of us consumers of the encroaching complexity of modern technology in our homes and lives. The landscape has shifted radically and quickly, and we have changed with it. Since we’re living in this landscape, it may seem as though we’ve collectively mastered the technology game, and that we just generally understand how to produce drop-dead simple products that tame the chaos of technological advancement. But those of us who build products and services—those who are behind the facade of simplicity in the murky, muddy trenches of corporations, consultancies, and start-ups—are reminded of that complexity and confusion every day.

Kolko, Jon. UX Magazine (2015). Design>User Experience


From Satisfaction to Delight

At this point in experience design's evolution, satisfaction ought to be the norm, and delight ought to be the goal. As design professionals, how do we create opportunities for customer delight?

Hanna, Parrish. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Design>Web Design>User Centered Design>User Experience


From Technical Writer to User Engagement Specialist?

Products and tools must evolve to ensure that user experience does not suffer as technical writers evolve their delivery to suit this modern age. If a user has a question, there should be only one place to search, and those results should contain relevant hits from all possible content sources.

LugIron Software Blog (2009). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>User Experience


The Future of Interface Design

The future of how we interact with computers is exciting to say the least. What once seemed like nonsense outside of Hollywood and Science Fiction is now starting to find it’s way into reality, and some of the technology is a bit overwhelming. Have a taste of what the future of interface design has to offer:

Leggett, David. UX Booth (2009). Articles>Human Computer Interaction>User Experience


The Future of User Interaction

We think it’s appropriate to kick off the new year with an examination of what the future holds for user experience and product development. To stay ahead of the curve when it comes to user research and UX design, we must keep in mind the new technologies that are currently under development and could influence the fundamental ways in which people interact with the products we design and develop.

Madrigal, Demetrius and Bryan McClain. UXmatters (2011). Articles>User Experience


The Future of User Interfaces

User interfaces—the way we interact with our technologies—have evolved a lot over the years. But there’s still a long way to go and there are many possible directions that future interface designs could take. We’re already seeing some start to crop up and its exciting to think about how they’ll change our lives.

Chapman, Cameron. Six Revisions (2010). Articles>User Interface>Planning>User Experience


Gadget Problems Divide the Sexes

Men and women have different approaches to dealing with technology problems, according to a gadget helpline. The service found that 64% of its male callers and 24% of its female callers had not read the instruction manual before ringing up.

BBC (2009). Articles>Documentation>User Experience>Gender


The Gap Between 25 Seconds and 5 Seconds

If designers took the perspective of users in the design of air conditioners, perhaps the wait for the cold air would not have been 25 seconds, unless you really think that 25 seconds of waiting time is fun for users.

Jiong, Zhou. uiGarden (2007). Articles>User Interface>User Experience


Getting Hired: What Employers Really Want

We began to work on an event to gather professionals and employers to help us figure out what UX employers really want.

Sanchez-Howard, Olga. Boxes and Arrows (2007). Careers>Usability>User Experience


Getting into Government Consulting

From Washington, D.C. to Olympia, Washington, there's a rich potential for user experience consultants of all flavors to provide services to government. In this article I'll share some thoughts directed toward you, the independent consultant or small firm that would like to work with government.

McMullin, Jess. Boxes and Arrows (2002). Careers>Consulting>Government>User Experience


Getting Started with Graphics for an Enriching User Experience

Good web design does not necessarily mean good use of colors and layouts, but it does transcend beyond it. Design elements like color, font, size, frame, etc. play an important role nonetheless, but what is more important is that how it affects the aesthetic sensibilities of the users. The warmth and the feel of the web site, or in another words, the texture of the web site is a crucial area to turn our attention to. By texture of the web site what it means is the subtleties of the surface of the web site. Varied aspects as discussed in this article, when sensibly used -- and in combination with good deign skills aimed at creating intuitive appeal -- are of definite help of when it comes to developing engaging graphics on your web site.

Azam, Rahbre. Amateur Writerz (2008). Articles>User Experience>Technical Writing>Graphic Design


Getting the Most Out of the Freemium Model

Freemium is a business model that provides users with free access to a service’s core functionality, but charges for additional or improved features. In social gaming, this often takes the form of letting players purchase special, limited-edition virtual goods using an in-game, virtual currency. Other Web services allow users to purchase a premium user experience. For example, Pandora lets users listen to music without ads. In each of these cases, there are opportunities to enhance the appeal of premium services. In this month’s column, we’ll discuss methods of getting the most out of the freemium model and maximizing the likelihood that users of basic, free services will start paying for premium features.

Madrigal, Demetrius and Bryan McClain. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Web Design>Business Case>User Experience


Getting the Right Stakeholder Feedback at the Right Time

Efficient, effective collaboration between UX designers and stakeholders is an essential ingredient of a successful project. Stakeholders bring their unique perspectives to a project, and their feedback can help a designer understand the design problem space and develop solutions that align with business and technology objectives. But simply asking stakeholders for feedback can lead to misaligned expectations and communication problems. By being thoughtful in how you make your request for feedback and by providing simple questions and instructions, you can ensure that you identify potential risks early in the design process, minimize stress, meet your deadlines, and ultimately design a better solution.

Hawley, Michael. UXmatters (2011). Articles>Collaboration>User Experience>SMEs


Ginny Redish

Ginny Redish has been in love with language since she was twelve. And today? It's only logical--she creates conversations between people and computers.

Adlin, Tamara and Janice C. 'Ginny' Redish. UX Pioneers (2007). Articles>Interviews>User Experience


Global Market, Global Emotion, Global Design?

In the current discussion of where design is going and what matters, there is an emphasis on the user and his or her (emotional) experience. It is a hot topic in books, blogs and the minds of industrial designers and interaction designers, worldwide. The importance of a focus on (emotional) experiences in addition to a merely technological or functional focus is being stressed by professionals with many different cultural backgrounds.

van Hout, Marco. uiGarden. Articles>User Centered Design>User Experience>Emotions



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