User Experience Centered Design (Part 2)

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Continuing from what I said last time… UX design is all about creating an experience, memory or positive attitude towards a product, service or system for consumers.

Peter Merholz, explains in his book “Subject To Change” (2008) that when someone engages with a product or service, a set of important human factors become extremely apparent. Their experience depends directly on how well these are implemented;

    • Motivation – What they hope to get.
    • Expectations – Preconceptions about the service or system.
    • Perception – How the service affect their senses.
    • Abilities – How customers can interact with the product or service.
    • Flow – How the engagement within consumers and the product or service varies over time.
    • Culture – Personal influences, language, religious views, social norms, ethnic background etc.

User experience as a whole, is how the service or product did or didn’t match up the above qualities.

There is, and possibly always will be a strong debate, on whether UX can actually be “designed”. It can be said by some, that it is easily designed and applied to all users. For example, If you search for examples of UX Design on a search engine online (Try it now!), you’ll mainly find images of complex diagrams, or charts which reflect what the development process of it is.

See Hassenzahl’s model of UX Design below, which appears to assume quite a few things about how a user will assign attributes to a service or product when using it:
Hassenzahl's model of UX Design Hassenzahl's model of User Experience Design[/caption]

The thing is, however… Is that not every person will respond in this way. So, the diagram cannot apply to all users after all, making it slightly unrealistic and biased. Thus, UX cannot easily be designed as an overall – due to the fact that users cannot be. Everyone’s different, and have unique ideas and notions.

To sum things up for such a broad topic, Seven things which should always be taken into account when designing for user experience, identified and explained by Peter Morville, are that it is “Useful” in one way or another – I mean… who wants to interact with a service or product which isn’t innovative or useful to them?

Usable” – because everything created should be easy to access and use for all personas.

“Desirable” – ensuring that the content being created fulfils the emotional needs of the target audience.

Finable”& “Accessible” – the service or product should be easy to find, and should allow a large scope of users to interact with it, regardless of their abilities or needs.

“Creditable” – to ensure that it is trustworthy for all consumers.

And lastly, it should be “Valuable” – as the ultimate aim for every company should be to creating a product, service or system which truly delivers to the customers’ expectations.

Well, wasn't that a lot to take in?

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