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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.'



Seven Reasons Why Web Apps Fail

I’m not one to believe that we’re in a Bubble 2.0 or anything like that (aren’t we always bubbular?), but here are a few ideas about why some of the web apps out there fail.

Porter, Joshua. Bokardo (2006). Articles>Web Design>Programming>User Experience


Seven Things to Know about Building a User Experience Team

Make sure each team member clearly understands the underlying business case for the user experience, and the measures of success.

Donoghue, Karen. Built for Use (2002). Articles>Management>User Experience


Seven Ways to Keep Readers on Your Website

Keeping visitors on your website has always been very important, and in todays competitive web it is becoming harder and harder to do so. Below I will outline 7 tips and tricks to keep visitors on your website

Webtint (2009). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Usability


Seven Ways to Make Your Site Go Faster

Speeding up your website is as important today as it was 10 years ago, mainly because websites have slowly became bigger, with their fancy external APIs and javascript libraries. Saying that, connection speed has grown also, and until we’re all running 5Gbps broadband, you can expect website speed to be a continuous problem in the foreseeable future. Below I’ve listed 7 main ways to speed up your website, and hopefully you’ll be able to put them into action.

Webtint (2009). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Usability


Seven Ways to Motivate the Audience

This handout provides examples of seven strategies commonly used to engage an audience's attention at the beginning of an oral presentation.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric>User Experience


Sharing Ownership of UX

By working closely together in harmony, product management, UX, and engineering can achieve synergy, making the product user experience greater than the sum of their individual efforts.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Experience>Collaboration


Sharon's MadCap Life

Technical Communication blog about products, topics in Tech Comm, tools, teaching tech comm topics, and others

Burton, Sharon. Wordpress (2008). Resources>User Experience>Technical Writing>Blogs


Sheep, Chaos, and User Experience

The people who own the creation, collection, and distribution of content may not be the same people in the very near future. I also believe technical communication is part of information architecture and user experience design. While the technical communication community, specifically many STC members, also work in usability or information design, the culture of the user has changed faster than the culture within the tech comm community.

Anderson, M.K. MK Anderson (2009). Articles>TC>Information Design>User Experience


Simplicity in Your Mind

This article postulates that we cannot address the issue of simplification exclusively by analyzing the physical and computational parameters of technology. Instead, we must understand the goal of simplification in light of the knowledge, tasks, and processing-load demands on its users. We can approach simplicity as an engineering endeavor by controlling the impact on these three usage dimensions.

Santos, Lucinio. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Usability>Minimalism


Sketching Your Way to a Mobile UX Design

These days, it’s easy to design mobile user experiences using powerful tools such as Axure RP, Blueprint, or Protot.io. But when creating early mobile designs, we should still start with the same simple sketching techniques that we’ve traditionally used for desktop designs. Now, there are apps that let us get our sketches on real mobile devices for demos and usability testing. In this article, I’ll share some of my favorite tools for sketching mobile user experiences.

Hacker, Will. UXmatters (2014). Articles>Web Design>Prototyping>User Experience


The Skyscraping Cost of Bad Customer Service

The value of good service cannot be overstated. According to the infographic, U.S. businesses lose $83 billion each year due to defections and abandoned purchases brought on by poor customer experiences.

Weiss, Geoff. Entrepreneur.com (2014). Articles>User Experience>E Commerce


Slashing Subjective Time

Slashing subjective time on your site by 50% is a perfectly reasonable goal. Indolent worker George Costanza once reflected on the time in the shower you wait for the hair conditioner to work as, 'a really tough minute.' A minute waiting for hair conditioner to work while getting ready for a date can feel longer than the three subsequent hours you spend with that very special person. Reducing/eliminating boredom points can make the time spent on your website appear to really fly by.

Tognazzini, Bruce. Nielsen Norman Group (2007). Design>Web Design>User Centered Design>User Experience


So You Want to Be a UX Manager—Seriously?

Almost weekly, I talk with a UX designer or researcher who wants to become a manager of a UX team. For some people, this is a good choice. Both they and their teams thrive. But for many, it’s honestly not the right goal, and the end result is that neither they nor their teams are happy. The book Now, Discover Your Strengths [1] suggests that we tend to be good at the things we love doing, and we love activities at which we excel. I find that we do our best work when we’re in a playground. (I’ll explore this idea more in my next column.) Isn’t life too short to pursue a path we don’t enjoy?

Nieters, Jim. UXmatters (2008). Careers>Management>User Experience


The Social Buzz: Designing User Experiences for Social Media

There is a lot of excitement about efforts that are currently underway to explore what social technologies can offer—the boundaries they can cross that the traditional Web could not. Similar to users’ need to cope with the problems of adapting to the ever-changing face of social media, addressing the needs of social media in design requires additional effort and interest on the part of UX designers, to keep track of the capabilities and limitations of emerging technologies.

Asad, Junaid. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Social Networking


Solving the Key Employment and Hiring Problems in the UX Field

As we’ve discussed in recent articles, job titles for UX professionals—interaction designer, information architect, usability expert, user researcher, content strategist, etc.—lack universally consistent meanings. The same is true within and across companies, where one agency’s “UI designer” is another’s “visual interaction designer.” When companies want to grow or build their UX teams, there’s not always a clear picture of who will fit their requirements. This is an even bigger problem for non-tech companies building UX departments from scratch for the first time.

UX Magazine (2013). Careers>Management>Recruiting>User Experience


Specifying Behavior: With an Example Menu Behavior Specification

Why do so many applications provide a poor user experience as a result of their not behaving properly? I can think of several possible reasons why some applications don’t behave as they should.

Gabriel-Petit, Pabini. UXmatters (2010). Articles>Usability>Human Computer Interaction>User Experience


Starting a Career in User Experience

This article is based upon my own experience transitioning from a career in corporate-world project management into the field of user experience design. With dedication, some talent, a few classes, and a healthy dose of self-promotion, the transition was fairly easy, very enjoyable, and took about two years. I have outlined a few key points to consider if you are planning to start a career in user experience design.

Haid, Marcus. Adaptive Path (2003). Careers>Usability>User Centered Design>User Experience


Starting a Career in User Experience

This article is based upon my own experience transitioning from a career in corporate-world project management into the field of user experience design. With dedication, some talent, a few classes, and a healthy dose of self-promotion, the transition was fairly easy, very enjoyable, and took about two years. I have outlined a few key points to consider if you are planning to start a career in user experience design.

Haid, Marcus. uiGarden (2007). Careers>Usability>User Experience


Starting a Career in User Experience Design

I have found three core areas of advice that I tend to dispense when it comes to someone who is starting out and wanting to know more about user experience. This advice likely applies to fields outside of the user experience realm. It is also applicable for those wanting to go into a specialized area of user experience.

Finck, Nick. NickFinck.com (2009). Careers>User Experience


Stop Nesting Menus

I started my career as an interaction designer working on desktop applications. I designed for the Windows, Apple and Motif interfaces (and still do). Each of those platforms had a toolkit of interaction controls that we could use: buttons, text fields, radio buttons, check boxes, and of course menus. We had a menubar and also context menus (which appear on PCs when you click the right mouse button). When web applications came along they copied these controls (and are still adding many new ones). But one particular control I wish had been left behind: nested menus. Some call them “pull-right” menus.

Rivers, Hagan. Two Rivers Flowing (2010). Articles>Web Design>User Experience>Usability


Stories are the Human Experience

Usability through storytelling, the theme for the UPA 2006 conference, was examined from many angles. Presenters looked at how stories fit into our work, throughout the entire user-centered design process.

Quesenbery, Whitney. uiGarden (2006). Articles>User Experience>Rhetoric


Story Telling

Story telling has been going on for millennium; it is a wonderful way to entertain and to engage others. Stories are not direct or personal, but they convey a message that can be interpreted by other world views. Various story-telling devices, such as films, novels and plays have become part of a vast entertainment industry that often reflects cultural ideals. Religions often use a book of stories, such as the bible, to convey moral beliefs. So it is perhaps not surprising that HCI has developed forms of narrative to convey stories and messages about people's lives that it wants other world views to hear.

Jones, Rachel. uiGarden (2006). Articles>Rhetoric>User Experience


Storytelling for User Experience: Whitney Quesenbery at the STC Summit

Whitney Quesenbery has just published Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting Stories for Better Design. In this interview I ask her to elaborate on the story behind the story, how stories compare with user personas and user stories, and how to gather stories from users. We recorded this videocast at the STC Summit in Dallas.

Johnson, Tom H. and Whitney Quesenbery. I'd Rather Be Writing (2010). Articles>Interviews>User Experience


A Study in User Experience: Twitter and #fixreplies

I have found that being a user experience person has often meant arguing a lot. Your role in the company, is to be the user advocate, not the company advocate, so that your voice is a reminder and constant reflection of a product’s users… you represent them, and are paid for doing that. But that means having to speak up, be confrontational at times, and be as persistent as you can possibly be when you passionately feel bad decisions are about to be made without being fired.

Colvin, Kris. Design for Users (2009). Articles>User Experience>Collaboration


Success with User-Centered Design Management

With the proliferation of digital products, including computers, desktop and Web-based applications, and mobile and embedded devices, the quality of the user experience (UX) has become one of the key determinants in the success of competing products. Productivity, entertainment, and business-application programs for non-technical users in particular must have 'intuitive' interfaces.

Ashley, Jeremy and Kristin Desmond. uiGarden (2005). Design>User Centered Design>Project Management>User Experience



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