The field of user experience is rife with terms that lack a mutually agreed-upon meaning. Even the name of the field itself can vary depending on the communicator and the audience. Are we User Experience (UX)? Design Research? Human-Centered Design? Are all of these the same thing?
Often, this lack of clarity on terms leads to debates even among UX professionals about the meanings of certain terms and their appropriate use. Is user experience still the right term if it doesn’t involve a digital component? Where do you stand on the term design thinking? Which term is preferable: human-centered design or user-centered design? Does it matter?
As User Experience develops and gains industry awareness and acceptance across domains, we’ll inevitably engage in more terminology debates. Read More
One of my favorite things to do is to take photos of bad user experiences. I usually do this when I’m traveling or shopping—maybe because my senses are heightened when I’m trying to find my way around unfamiliar places or seeking out some new item to purchase. I would guess that many of you do similar things. I suppose this points to a paradox of experience design: it’s easier to identify examples of bad experiences than good ones. Good experiences just work without effort, so we don’t notice them as readily. When things are going well, they don’t make the news.
There are lots of examples of good user experience. A casual search online finds a variety of impassioned articles on the value of User Experience and how it contributes to an organization’s bottom line and ultimate success. We see many examples of how User Experience is good and how we can add value. Read More
Even though computers are controlling more and more of the world, they are not always getting smarter. Oh, they’re becoming more sophisticated, but humans must make computer code smart, and we don’t always get things right. It doesn’t help that we’re using old, ad hoc methods of planning, design, and analysis.
It’s scary that we sometimes don’t know why artificial intelligence (AI) systems work. But we should be even more worried that pretty much every system we use—every app, every device—is now so complex that we cannot possibly predict all system behaviors. Read More