Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The User Experience Iceberg

Creating great UX ...

"Jesse James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience is a great illustration of the components required to create engaging and rewarding experiences. But, it can be too much information for clients to fully comprehend during a quick presentation. The analogy of The User Experience Iceberg is a great way to help your clients realize that visual design is only the “tip” of the iceberg.

Clients with a lower level of design maturity have a tendency to focus exclusively on the Surface layer, the visual design (look and feel). This is natural, since it’s the most immediately processed emotional level of the user experience.

But the relationship between the user and the product is like the relationship between the user and another person. That relationship begins with a sensory input.

The user encounters the other person, usually by seeing and/or hearing them. If initial judgments based on appearance are positive, (meaning pleasure or the anticipation of pleasure), the user approaches and the interaction then continues, evolving over time based on the behavior of both actors.

Over several interactions, the user characterizes the other person, attributing one or more personality traits. “Bill is a happy guy.” “Sarah is insecure.” etc.

The Elements of User Experience is a great model for addressing the three emotional levels of Sensory, Interaction/Behavior and Personality. It’s natural and unconscious that the visual design should command the lion’s share of attention.

But when the User Experience Iceberg is used to add context to the Elements, it illuminates the dark, unknown depths for project stakeholders who are new to UX. Because in the end, the unseen elements of user experience are the parts of the iceberg that will sink your project, while you look at the “tip”."    (Continued via Usability News, affective design)    [Usability Resources]


The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web


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