Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Experience Design 101

Defining our related disciplines ...

"Experience design can sometimes be a slippery term. With all the other often used terms that float around in its realm in the technology and web space: interaction design, information architecture, human computer interaction, human factors engineering, usability, and user interface design.

People often end up asking “what is the difference between all these fields and which one do I need?” This article examines the term and field of user experience to plainly extrapolate its meaning and connect the dots with these other fields.

Those of us in the field have stated that the discipline takes the theory and the techniques of traditional design, which it merges with theoretical and practical approaches from other disciplines. The result is a gestalt-like synthesis of unique procedures and methods, and of a project-based approach to develop objects, environments and systems.

Interaction design seeks to establish a dialogue between products, people and physical, cultural and historical contexts; to anticipate how the use of products will affect comprehension; and to determine a form that is appropriate to its behavior and use.

Experience design takes into consideration not only physical devices but services. Our lives are increasingly connected through telecommunications networks and filled with immaterial things: music, films, TV and other information sources. These services, provided by companies and public institutions, are as important as the machines through which we access them: the phone, pager, PDA or set-top box.

Experience design involves the design of immaterial as well as material things: services and software as well as hardware. Interactive technologies need a new kind of design, a fusion of sound, graphic and product design, and time-based narrative.

Developing this new kind of design will lead to a new aesthetic interface: one of use and experience as well as of form. When function and information (and perhaps entertainment) converge you should get a universal emotional design that takes the most positive human behaviors into account.

Getting The Terms Right

* User experience is a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. It most commonly refers to a combination of software and business topics, such as selling over the web, but it applies to any result of interaction design. Wikipedia definition

* Interaction design is a sub-discipline of design which examines the role of embedded behaviors and intelligence in physical and virtual spaces as well as the convergence of physical and digital products. Sometimes referred to by the acronyms “IxD” or “iD”… Wikipedia definition"    (Continued via ON: Digital+Marketing)    [Usability Resources]


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