What is UX – The many faces of user experience.

The many way’s I’ve described UX

What is UX (1)

User Experience is an umbrella term for a series of different disciplines:

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • information Architecture
  • Interaction Design

but certainly not interchangeable with web developer, it’s true to say that some web developers do some maybe all of the above but in the most part their job is about cutting code to create products. Also, some user experience professionals do cut code but it’s not their primary role.

Lets not also forget that user experience operates outside of the web, so customer experience tends to refer to the experience a person has with a brand across all it’s platforms: in the shop from, customer service calls, marketing materials etc. Where as Human factors and Ergonomics tend (??) to refer to products not services.

What is UX (2)

UX activities give us a unique insight into how the customers interact with our product and service but the product and services only really exist to improve the bottom line of the organisations who commission them. 

UX therefore should also be about defining and measuring business goals and validating the outcomes in terms of customer acceptance and business realisation. 

What is UX (3)

 “A person’s perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” – ISO 2941-210, (Thanks to Allen Caeg)

What is UX (4)

UX is the sweet spot between business, technical and customer requirements.

What is UX (5)

UX works across three elements of service delivery. 

  1. Strategy I.e goal definition
  2. Asset delivery i.e Outputs
  3. Measuring the outcome

Depending on how you’re engaged on a project you will view UX differently. 

Suppose we view “service delivery” as product lifecycle with 4 key phases. 

 

  1. Definition
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Testing

 

It’s easy to see how the role of a UX professional won’t fit easily into the definition I gave in what is UX (1)

Phase 1. Deals primarily with early stage tasks, setting out the business case for change, requirements analysis. Here a UX professional will use research techniques to evaluate the opportunity to help set the business goals for the project. There are some research techniques which can be used but very little outputs from IxD, IA etc. at this stage

Through phase 2. and 3. Were moving into the realms of creating outputs to support other functions delivering. Here IxD, IA etc can and do play a cruital role. It’s in this phase that most UX professionals exist. 

Phase 4 is where UX professionals again provide a strategic role. Did the delivery meet the project goals?

All this rests on the premis that a project needs to pay equal weight to: business, technical and customer needs.

UX plays a role in all four phases although traditionally these roles are given different job titles. Business Analys, Change consultant, web designer etc. etc. The skills a UX professional has are relevant to all these job titles. 

Job titles are a way for a company to define and constrain a persons role to fit it’s individual needs and area of responsibility. The skillsets though (as described in the diffrent UX roles) are present in most roles engaged in product or service delivery.

What is UX (6)

A way to chat up the only girl at a geek-up

What is UX (6)

What [Guru X] tells us it is.

 

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