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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.'



A New Way to Listen

Empathy can have an enormous impact on how we work. By learning to better understand others—what they think, how they feel, what guides their decisions and behaviors—we add balance, clarity, and depth to our business practices. In this excerpt from Chapter 4 of Practical Empathy, Indi Young explains how listening intently can lay the groundwork for developing empathy.

Young, Indi. List Apart, A (2015). Articles>User Experience>Ethnographies>Methods


No Bottom Line? No Experience

There's a lot of of romance and poetry that goes into experience design: doing contextual research to identify pain points and problems; getting eye-to-eye with users to uncover their needs and stumbling blocks; brainstorming solutions with pals at the old whiteboard; working with developers to design sleek and sumptuous interfaces; crafting easily navigable solutions that are primed to disrupt the status quo; passionately pitching these darlings to wary stakeholders … it’s a tour de force.

UX Magazine (2015). Articles>Usability>User Experience


Non-UX Designers Can Pay Attention to User Experience Too!

Concepts, principals, and parts of User Experience Design can often times be difficult to approach—and this tends to create barriers with new bloggers. This begs the question: Do ordinary bloggers have to worry about UX Design?

Leggett, David. Fuel Your Blogging (2009). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Blogging


Nondirected Interviews: How to Get More Out of Your Research Questions

As user experience designers, a key component to nearly all the techniques we use in our practice is the one-on-one interview. It’s the basis of requirements gathering, usability testing, and task analysis. In order to remove our personal biases, expectations and opinions from the questions asked, I practice a kind of questioning technique called the nondirected interview.

Kuniavsky, Mike. Adaptive Path (2002). Articles>Interviewing>User Experience>Research


On a Scale of 1 to 5: Understanding Risk Improves Rating and Reputation Systems

Where would we be without rating and reputation systems these days? Take them away, and we wouldn’t know who to trust on eBay, what movies to pick on Netflix, or what books to buy on Amazon. Reputation systems (essentially a rating system for people) also help guide us through the labyrinth of individuals who make up our social web. Is he or she worthwhile to spend my time on? For pity’s sake, please don’t check out our reputation points before deciding whether to read this article.

Kirtland, Alex. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Social Networking


On UX Leadership

If you look at organizations that are making progress, I guarantee you'll find they have one thing in common: effective leadership. Each challenge, unfortunately, requires a different leadership flavor, which makes UX leadership all the more demanding. Growing our profession requires what I think of as practice leadership—things like mentoring junior team members, providing design vision, and generally improving how design is done. This is inward-facing leadership focused on the people who do design. This requires UX expertise as well skill in coaching, communication, and so forth.

Goodwin, Kim. UX Magazine (2011). Articles>User Experience>Management


Online Travel Booking: What Influences Consumers?

An overview of what influences consumers when booking a holiday and what travel companies can do to offer the best user experience.

Baxevanis, Alexander. Webcredible (2008). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>E Commerce


Open Sesame! Selling UX Services

For some UX professionals, selling consulting services is as difficult as opening a magic door without a secret password. There is no simple password that can magically open prospective customers' minds so they can see what you can do for them. However, there are a few strategies you can use when opening a dialogue with new customers that will lead to your sales success.

Schreier-Fleming, Maura and Janet M. Six. UXmatters (2006). Careers>Consulting>User Experience


Opening PDFs in a New Window with JavaScript

Using JavaScript can be particularly useful when a website is content managed. Rather than having to rely on site editors to remember to open a link to a PDF in a new window the process is handled by a simple JavaScript function.

McCarthy, Paul. Webcredible (2007). Design>Web Design>User Experience>Adobe Acrobat


Opportunity India: Interaction Design Market Potential

The Indian community of Interaction Designers and Usability Professionals is growing by rate of 20% annually which is far too less. Around 6 to 8 new design institutes have suddenly opened up in past couple of years (to name a few- Symbiosis Institute of Design, MAEER MIT’s Institute of Design and Creative-I College, Pune, Raffles Design International, Mumbai, IILM School of Design, Gurgaon, Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi) But all these are indirect contributors to interaction design, as they do not offer education in that area.

Katre, Dinesh S. Journal of HCI Vistas (2006). Articles>User Experience>Interaction Design


Optimizing the User Experience   (PDF)

Web sites should be designed to facilitate and encourage efficient and effective human-computer interactions. Designers should make every attempt to reduce the user's workload by taking advantage of the computer's capabilities. Users will make the best use of Web sites when information is displayed in a directly usable format and content organization is highly intuitive. Users also benefit from task sequences that are consistent with how they typically do their work, that do not require them to remember information for more than a few seconds, that have terminology that is readily understandable, and that do not overload them with information.

Usability.gov (2006). Articles>Usability>User Experience


Out of Box Experience: Getting it Right First Time

The out of box experience (OOBE) describes the users first interaction with a product or service. In the technology sector this first experience invariably involves plugging stuff in, installing some software and crossing your fingers in the hope that the product will work. The problem is that, in far too many cases, it doesn’t.

Frontend Infocentre (2009). Articles>User Experience>User Centered Design>Usability


Overload, Shmoverload

We don't really know what attention is, despite all the mumbo-jumbo spouted by Nobel laureates. My guess: most of what people say about attention is hogwash: mere anecdotes, or flimsy cultural norms offered up in a 'be productive, be happy' wrapper. Whenever business thinkers seek to apply an economic metaphor to human cognition, it is a mess: remember "knowledge management"?

Boyd, Stowe. SlideShare (2007). Articles>User Centered Design>User Experience>Emotions


Overview of User Experience Design Concepts

User experience design has become an essential consideration in the development of websites and technical communications. No longer can we throw together a few headings and numbered lists in CSS and XHTML and hope the result will be worthwhile and meaningful to users. As the web expands and content becomes more accessible, it is necessary to take content and websites to the next level - to provide information that is not just useful or even usable, but enjoyable. If a person has to spend more than a few seconds trying to find what they need they are that much more likely to “Google it” and find a site or help system that provides the answer quicker.

Designing User Experience (2008). Articles>User Experience>Search Engine Optimization


OVID Tutorial: Mastering the Complexity of Creating Highly Satisfying User Experiences

A description and presentation materials from a tutorial given on OVID at the CHI 2002 and MITE 2002 conferences. OVID is a method to use while performing User Engineering.

IBM. Articles>Usability>User Experience


The Past and Future of Experience Design

The future of experience design has never held more promise. But, to fulfill this promise, we have to explore, learn, and work passionately and confidently—even courageously, at times—in new domains. The things we create aren’t usually any less ephemeral than the experiences they deliver (how many websites or campaigns or apps or events have you created in your career that are no longer available?). What lasts, at least in the minds and reactions of our customers, are the experiences around these things. Ultimately, this is also where we derive our own greatest satisfaction in our work. It will be what makes us smile when we think of a project we worked on, years from now, and instead of focusing on how we created it or how much we earned; we will fondly look back on the experiences they created for people.

Shedroff, Nathan. Boxes and Arrows (2012). Articles>User Experience>History


Patterns in UX Research

One of the key objectives of user research is to identify themes or threads that are common across participants. These patterns help us to turn our data into insights about the underlying forces at work, influencing user behavior. Patterns demonstrate a recurring theme, with data or objects appearing in a predictable manner. Seeing a visual representation of the data is usually enough for us to recognize a pattern. However, it is much harder to see patterns in raw data, so identifying patterns can be a daunting task when we face large volumes of research data. Patterns stand out above the typical noise we’re used to seeing in nature or in raw data.

Baty, Steve. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Research>User Experience


Paving the Road to Smart TV Innovation with Standardization

Positioned as the bridge between broadcast television and Internet-based video on demand, smart TV was intended to revolutionize the consumer electronics industry. It was supposed to open the door to a new scope of home entertainment, bringing families together and encouraging consumer engagement with online services. However, despite the fact that global smart TV shipments grew 55% to reach 76 million units in 2013, only half of smart TV owners in Europe and the US are actually using their TV’s Internet capabilities, according to Strategy Analytics. The potential of smart TV is there but it’s not being realized, and standardization (or lack thereof) is to blame.

Natoewal, Navin. UX Magazine (2015). Articles>User Experience>Usability>Multimedia


PDF Manuals: The Wrong Paradigm for an Online Experience

Let me describe a familiar user assistance experience. A user installs a new application, and when the user wants Help, the application directs her to the user documentation on a Web site or CD-ROM. What the user finds there is a PDF file containing the manual—or a collection of PDF files, representing a library of manuals, including a user guide, configuration guide, troubleshooting guide, and various references. And the layout of each of these PDF manuals is exactly the same as if it were a printed book. This raises an interesting question: If we’re giving manuals to users to read online, why do we design and write them for paper?

Hughes, Michael A. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Documentation>User Experience>Adobe Acrobat


The Perpetual Super-Novice

The problem of the perpetual super-novice is the tendency of people to stop learning about a digital product--whether it's an operating system, desktop application, Web site, or hardware device.

Sherman, Paul J. UXmatters (2007). Articles>Usability>User Experience>User Interface


Personality in Design

Our lasting relationships center around the unique qualities and perspectives we all possess. We call it personality. Through our personalities, we express the entire gamut of human emotion. Personality is the mysterious force that attracts us to certain people and repels us from others. Because personality greatly influences our decision-making process, it can be a powerful tool in design.

Walter, Aarron. List Apart, A (2011). Articles>Web Design>Marketing>User Experience


Personalizing the User Experience on ibm.com   (PDF)

In this paper, we describe the results of an effort to first understand the value of personalising a website, as perceived by the visitors to the site as well as by the stakeholder organisation that owns it, and then to develop a strategy for introducing personalisation to the ibm.com website.

Karat, C.M., C. Brodie, J. Karat, J. Vergo and S.R. Alpert. IBM (2003). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Personalization


Persuasion in Design

Persuasion in design is often regarded as a subset of UX, but it goes beyond UX and the mechanics of traditional usability. It’s about understanding the emotions that influence people’s behavior and decision-making, and then acting on that information to design compelling user interactions. Persuasive design applies psychological principles of influence, decision-making in a consumer context, engagement strategy, and social psychology to every stage of the design process, and it identifies potential barriers and emotional triggers to elicit the desired actions.

Del Galdo, Elisa. UX Magazine (2011). Articles>User Experience>Web Design>Persuasive Design


Persuasion Triggers in Web Design

How do you make decisions? If you’re like most people, you’ll probably answer that you pride yourself on weighing the pros and cons of a situation carefully and then make a decision based on logic. You know that other people have weak personalities and are easily swayed by their emotions, but this rarely happens to you. You’ve just experienced the fundamental attribution error — the tendency to believe that other people’s behaviour is due to their personality whereas our behaviour is due to external circumstances. biases like these play a significant role in the way we make decisions so it’s not surprising that people are now examining these biases to see how to exploit them in the design of web sites.

Travis, David. Smashing (2010). Articles>User Experience>Web Design>Persuasive Design


Peter Merholz

From deciding he hated math to becoming the president of Adaptive Path, Peter describes a career driven by experience design.

Adlin, Tamara and Peter Merholz. UX Pioneers (2007). Articles>Interviews>User Experience



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