Monday, February 06, 2006

Defining the User Experience

A good atempt at a definition ...

"Back in December I mentioned that I have been writing a chapter for Andrew Sears and Julie Jacko's Human Computer Interaction Handbook. This is a pretty monumental volume and it's an honor to write for it. They gave me a pretty broad mandate for the chapter: they asked me to write about the relationship between HCI and the customer experience. Before I could write that, I decided to unpack what "the customer experience" meant, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that what I wanted to do was to more precisely define what "user experience" means. Now I know this is folly--as a term in wide use, user experience has about 1000 different definitions--but I wanted to have one of my own, at least for the duration of this chapter. The definition I came up with is that, in a nutshell, the user experience of a product is everything that's not human-computer interaction. It's everything that affects how someone interacts with a tool--whether it's software, hardware, a service, or whatever. To me, this meant that I had to deal with all of the squishy, abstract things that good cognitive psychology and computer science-trained designers like me try not to deal with: business goals, emotions, relationships, branding, etc."   continued ...   (Via Orange Cone)


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