UX Definition Myopic?


I am starting to get a little frustrated on the volumes of tweets and blogs I am reading about UX, mainly because my vision and what we are doing here at  Caplin gets watered down through most people’s myopic view of what we mean by UX.

I read a definition today about what UX means and although the article was quite informative and covered a lot of space in the area of UX I was still complex on why we continue with this definition:

“User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI)”

Pretty much what wikipedia says.

But I totally disagree. UX is certainly about providing the user with a more engaging experience, but the only way to achieve this is to “walk in their shoes”.  Go and do some contextual studying, immerse yourself into their lives, build some personas and NJMs then you may well get your nose out of those wireframes into the real UX and deliver something that does deliver a good user experience.

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2 Comments

  • Scott says:

    Philosophically, user experience design (and service design as you’re referring to it) certainly crosses beyond a human’s interaction with a piece of software, but I believe it’s dangerous to align the role of a UXD with what are traditionally service design activities. People have a hard enough time understanding what we do (architecture, UI, interaction design, psychology, research, usability, etc.), let’s not complicate things by implying we should be responsible for improving someone’s interaction with the barista who prepared their morning coffee as well.

    • Sarah says:

      Many thanks for the comment Scott you have certainly made a valid point which I will try to answer. It sometimes appears that a UXD (User Experience Designer) has to do all these duties and more. This is where the confusion lies when we talk about UX and we don’t talk much about the people, skills and the processes to deliver UX. Thanks again for raising this which I will cover in my next blog.

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