Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Difference Between Usability and User Experience

A clear distinction between Usability and UX ...

"The customer, looking for a new digital camera, goes to the large electronic retailer’s website. She quickly finds the camera she wants, puts it in the cart, and without incident, pays for it using the option to pick it up at the store that same day. Quick, easy — she is pleased and excited to receive her camera.

When she arrives at the store, she initially doesn’t know where to go, as no visual clues present themselves. After a ten-minute wait at the customer service desk, she’s told she’s in the wrong place and needs to find another desk, this one labeled “Online Receiving”. Once she finds that desk, the clerk, who obviously can’t wait for his shift to end, sighs and says the camera she’s purchased is out of stock. She can buy a different camera at this point, but to receive a credit for her original online purchase, she needs to call an 800 number. She ends up leaving the store without a camera and a charge on her credit card she needs to resolve.

This scenario highlights the difference between usability and user experience — a question I get quite frequently these days."    (Continued via UIE Brain Sparks)    [Usability Resources]


Anonymous Dr. Pete said...

The analogy seems useful, but I'm not quite sure I see the distinction. Isn't user experience at work in both systems/situations? The website was usable, but the store wasn't; each seems to have it's own distinct usability and user experience.

11:54 AM  

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