By definition, user experience covers a broad range of disciplines .
The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company’s offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.
User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project. UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.
At the core of UX is ensuring that users find value in what you are providing to them. Peter Morville represents this through his User Experience Honeycomb
He notes that in order for there to be a meaningful and valuable user experience, information must be:
- Useful. As practitioners, we can’t be content to paint within the lines drawn by managers. We must have the courage and creativity to ask whether our products and systems are useful, and to apply our knowledge of craft + medium to define innovative solutions that are more useful.
- Usable. Ease of use remains vital, and yet the interface-centered methods and perspectives of human-computer interaction do not address all dimensions of web design. In short, usability is necessary but not sufficient.
- Desirable. Our quest for efficiency must be tempered by an appreciation for the power and value of image, identity, brand, and other elements of emotional design.
- Findable. We must strive to design navigable web sites and locatable objects, so users can find what they need.
- Accessible. Just as our buildings have elevators and ramps, our web sites should be accessible to people with disabilities (more than 10% of the population). Today, it’s good business and the ethical thing to do. Eventually, it will become the law.
- Credible. Thanks to the Web Credibility Project, we’re beginning to understand the design elements that influence whether users trust and believe what we tell them.
- Valuable. Our sites must deliver value to our sponsors. For non-profits, the user experience must advance the mission. With for-profits, it must contribute to the bottom line and improve customer satisfaction.
The honeycomb hits the sweet spot by serving several purposes at once. It’s a great tool for advancing the conversation beyond usability and for helping people understand the need to define priorities. Is it more important for your web site to be desirable or accessible? How about usable or credible? The truth is, it depends on your unique balance of context, content and users, and the required tradeoffs are better made explicitly than unconsciously.
Each facet of the user experience honeycomb can serve as a singular looking glass, transforming how we see what we do, and enabling us to explore beyond conventional boundaries.
UX is a growing field that is very much still being defined. Creating a successful user-centered design encompasses the principles of human-computer interaction
Summary: “User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
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