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.'
Jeffrey Kalmikoff is partner at skinnyCorp and chief creative officer at Threadless. In this article he relates what a trip to a sandwich shop can teach you about customer service.
Last year I welcomed the rattling death knell of several of my least favorite design elements and facets of technology. Some of them have died already, some are dying, and a couple have been recently diagnosed as “terminal.” Looking forward, I think their diminishing presence will make 2014 a better year for experience design.
When things are going well in a design, we don't pay attention to them. We only pay attention to things that bother us. The same is true with online designs. We attend to things that aren't working far more than we attend to things that are. When the online experience frustrates us, we pay attention to its details, often because we're trying to figure out some way to outsmart it.
We have the power to bestow our abilities onto the things around us. By being conscious of our tools, habits, and spaces, and actively conditioning them to help us behave the way we want to behave, maybe we can more efficiently tap into the thousands of hours of creative genius embedded in our everyday objects. Maybe we’ll be able to maximize the capabilities that new technologies afford us without being overwhelmed by the distractions. And, just maybe, we’ll remember what it feels like to be utterly engrossed in our daily work.
If you are the happy owner of a tablet computer or a pen tablet you can hand-draw prototypes on your computer. In this article we'll look at what hand-sketching is good for and how to built hand-drawn prototypes in Visio.
Ever visited the website of a company with a glaring error either on the site or in their product, only to discover that they have successfully sealed themselves off from the world, so you can't report it? Sure you have, and it's not only causing you frustration, it's costing that company real money.
With products and services quickly becoming commoditized, price differentiation is no longer a sustainable model. Customers are demanding more from businesses. Businesses that have increased their investment in the customer experience over the past three years report higher customer referral rates and greater customer satisfaction. Customers turn into advocates. Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.
Because people determine value by comparing things, the value of a particular item can seem very different in various situations, depending on what they’re comparing it to. Let’s consider the following scenario: Deb is buying a camera online and needs a case to go with it. In which circumstance is she likely to buy a more expensive case? 1. When a Web site recommends a case to her as she’s purchasing the camera 2. When she realizes later that she needs a case 3. Neither of the above The correct answer is 1. If Deb is buying an expensive camera, the cost of the case seems minimal in comparison to the cost of the camera. A $30 case looks a lot cheaper next to a $600 camera than when a shopper compares it to other comparable camera cases. In this column, I’ll describe how anchoring, ordering, framing, and loss aversion affect people’s decisions.
Why should fancy restaurants print their menus in a font that is elegant, but difficult to read? Why should scary rides in amusement parks have names that are difficult to pronounce? How do people assess the risk of food additives in everyday grocery items? And what does any of this have to do with UX design and usability? Every day, your users make judgments and decisions about the products and services you provide based on the way you present them. In this column, I’ll talk about why seemingly insignificant aspects of information presentation can have surprising effects on people’s perceptions and behavior.
The user experience field has been trying to move beyond mere usability and utility for years. So far, no one seems to have developed easy-to-implement, non-retrospective, valid, and reliable measures for gauging users' emotional reactions to a system, application, or Web site. In this column, I'll introduce you to a promising method that just might solve this problem.
How can you quantify a concept as nebulous as user experience? Rob's tutorial shows how you can statistically assess the experience a site provides - a great way to review a prospect's existing site and springboard redevelopment discussions.
In my last column, I suggested that being a manager of UX is no better—and no worse—than being a great designer or user researcher, but the roles are very different. In fact, as the book The First 90 Days  points out, the skills that make you successful as an individual contributor are not the same skills you need as a leader.
Human-computer interaction in the large is an interdisciplinary area which attracts researchers, educators, and practioners from many differenf fields. Human-computer interaction studies a human and a machine in communication, it draws from supporting knowledge on both the machine and the human side. This paper is related to the human side of human-computer interaction and focuses on animations.
Working together in a group to produce a creative outcome is difficult—don’t let anyone tell you it’s not. A time or two, I’ve had that same feeling of being dumbstricken when participating in various forms of UX design brainstorming sessions.
Developers sometimes ask which aspects of look and feel contribute most to the overall usability of an application or Web site. They are typically surprised when I answer that the 'look and feel' aspects aren't the major contributors at all. Look and feel have been popular discussion topics for many years, and some developers have proposed various schemes purporting to allow an easy swap of one look and feel for another. They were perhaps compelled to this thinking to compensate for an inadequate understanding of their users. Around 1990, I became alarmed by the popularity of design architectures advocating paradigms like the User Interface Management Systems (UIMS) that enable a pluggable look and feel. Many of my colleagues and I felt that look and feel represented only the tip of the iceberg. We felt that the set of concepts users must learn and understand to use a product or Web site effectively is actually the most important factor.
Bill DeRouchey is fascinated with buttons and the history of interface design. He talks to us as he prepares for IDEA 2008, October 7-8. In Chicago, Bill hopes to help attendees expand their sources of inspiration to include just about anything in their everyday lives.
User experience is a term that is widely used these days to refer to all sorts of interactions between people and technologies. But when it comes to videogames, experience is the only sensible word to use. Games are pure experience. And the range of experiences they offer is huge from what it is like to land a 747 at Heathrow Airport to slaying space dragons with a team of like-minded warriors. Thus, when it comes to really understanding user experience in games, it can be hard to say anything that would apply in general. However, one expression that does seem to crop up regularly, and that gamers relate to, is that games are immersive: when people are having a good experience, they get lost or immersed in the game and the world outside the game fades into the background. So what is this notion of immersion? What causes it? And is it the heart of what makes a good game? These are the questions that I have been trying to answer, together with my colleagues and students, over the last few years.
DVD menus often miss out on usability and are complex and difficult to navigate through. One of the main problems is the lack of design standards. By conducting an expert walkthrough we identified typical usability issues of DVD menus and verified them with usability testing and a user survey. Our research goal is to develop a set of specific solutions for designing usable DVD menus to improve the overall user experience. As a first step towards this goal we present an initial set of usability issues that are specifically relevant for DVD menu design.
We’ve all seen the flurry over the past several years of both agencies and corporate entities investing in hiring UX talent. (To spare definitions, I’ll let “UX” equate to anything from information architect to researcher to interface designer … it’s just easier that way.) This has created a whirlwind of opportunity for creating better products, services, and experiences, but has also presented a steep challenge in finding and attracting the best UX talent. Having been a hiring manager for UX, I’ve seen how it currently works.