User-experience-design.com is a site dedicated to collecting and sharing my thoughts and experiences in designing great user experiences with the UX community.
By user experience, I mean the course of perception of the user’s emotional status over time while s/he is engaging with a (software) product. Like usability, user experience is always present ? every artifact causes the user to have a user experience, which may be great, just good, not too exciting, or just horrific. The “total user experience” even widens this construct to start with the first encounter with a product (e.g., through an advertisement or in a shop window) through the buying process, the unwrapping, the process of setting up the product (the first actual usage experience), of using it on a day-by-day basis, maintaining it to finally taking it out of service.
By design, I mean the conscious effort of crafting something to meet a defined goal, expectation or requirement. “Design” is not limited to the discipline of “graphic design” or “industrial design”, but also encompasses domains such as software development, organizational change, or engineering. Or User Experience Design ? as the discipline dealing with how to create a rich, rewarding, satisfying emotion for a given group of people.
In order for the designers to to do their job successfully, they have to understand the problem domain thoroughly. For User Experience Design, this means: observing people, understanding what makes them feel good, what goals they have in life and what goals they might purpue with the artifact at hand, analyzing and acting upon needs the target population already has but doesn’t know about. These so-called “latent needs” are the ones that really make a difference.
User Experience Design is not usability, it’s not graphics design, and it’s not interaction design. It is the sum of these three areas and it surpasses them. I believe it is more of a mentality ? it means always to think from the users’ perspective, striving at creating something new that will trigger some response and become instantly desirable.