THE USER EXPERIENCE- UX
Summary: “User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products.
The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company’s offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.
It’s important to distinguish the total user experience from the user interface (UI), even though the UI is obviously an extremely important part of the design. As an example, consider a website with movie reviews. Even if the UI for finding a film is perfect, the UX will be poor for a user who wants information about a small independent release if the underlying database only contains movies from the major studios.
We should also distinguish UX and usability: According to the definition of usability, it is a quality attribute of the UI, covering whether the system is easy to learn, efficient to use, pleasant, and so forth. Again, this is very important, and again total UX is an even broader concept.
Factors that influence the User Experience
Of all the analyzed models that decompose the User Experience in the different variables that condition and model it, the one proposed in the works of Arhippainen and Tähti (2003) we believe is the most complete and exhaustive. The authors classify the different factors into five differentiated groups: user-specific factors, social, cultural, context-specific and product-specific factors.
For Kankainen (2002) the User Experience is a result of a motivated action in a given context, with special emphasis on the conditioning importance of user expectations and previous experiences, and therefore on the influence of current experience in Their expectations and future experiences.
In the context of the Web, Morville (2004) proposes the analysis of User Experience is based on seven facets or properties that a website must fulfill: Useful, Usable, Desirable, Findable, Accessible, Credible and Valuable. In this same context Mahlke (2002) identified four properties of the web product — utility, ease of use, hedonic quality and visual appeal — as factors perceived by the user and that will influence with different weight in the intention to use the product.
As a summary we can conclude that the User Experience:
- It is the result of an interactive phenomenon involving a multitude of factors: individual, social, cultural, contextual and characteristic of the product.
- It will be influenced by previous expectations and experiences, and therefore will condition expectations and future experiences.
- It represents an area of multidisciplinary study and an approach of interdisciplinary work.
- It offers a broader and more inclusive perspective on the use and consumption of interactive products, and therefore more in line with reality.
- It makes special emphasis on factors of interaction that are traditionally little or badly considered, such as the user’s emotional behavior and the importance of design attributes such as aesthetics in this behavior.