About UX

Top Eight UX Design Definitions

No one person or source can define a term. Vocabulary, like all symbolic systems, is only useful to the degree we share meaning and experience relating to it, and agree (ideally, with no social coercion) on what a term refers to. Dictionaries, at best, merely document our collective sense of meanings and associations. As there is much misuse of "user experience," with and without "design" affixed, and there is no dictionary entry for it (yet), here are the top seven definitions of ux design. I sought ten and came up wanting, so this entry comes with an invitation to you to contribute those definitions of user experience design (full three terms) that you find most precise or useful. Or add your own... inclusion is conditional, however, on a credibility standard that can only be defined as "secret sauce."

What is UX?

Some prefer broad and inclusive definitions of User Experience (UX) design. Others (a few) claim The One True Meaning of it, usually in support of self interest. Both extremes muddy the semantic waters. Language best serves us when terms are both alive (evolving), and generally agreed. Here are a few collected definitions, for consensus, one more point of view, and the important career management perspective.
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Psychology of Everyday Things

Don Norman's book was copy-written in 1988, and this one proves once again that great books can remain relevant long after they first land in people's hands. Though its point of reference for computing and user interface design will seem charmingly innocent to 21st century readers, the books real topics, have not changed: people, how they do things, and what designers must do to reduce human confusion and anguish, and liberate humanity to enjoy doing what they want or must. The need for knowledge, insight and wisdom in user interface design, as Mr. Norman gently guides us through, is as urgent as ever. No UI, UX / UE, human factors engineer, user scientist, or professional designers of any kind should practice their trade without first reading with care Mr. Norman's now famous book.

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Information Dashboard Design

Book review of Information Dashboard Design, by Stephen Few. Published by O’Reilly, © 2006. I recommend Few's book highly, provided you aren't looking to expand much existing dashboard design experience. All the ideas, and examples of them, are presented fairly concisely....
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Designing For Interaction

Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices, Dan Saffer's first and so far only foray in to print publishing, is a tight little knit of a book. Some passages, which could have tackled the beefier topics, play tag instead. Yet the page count makes it a good weekend read. What it may lack in depth, Dan more than compensates for with a great variety of ideas, images, interviews, and examples of ways we can, and should, design for interaction in smart and clever ways.
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Elements of User Experience

The Elements of User Experience - User-Centered Design For The Web, is an important and nascent work, spawned (like his design agency, Adpative Path) by the popularity of Jessie James Garrett's Elements of User Experience diagram, first published in March of 2000. Garrett's only book, to date, elaborates on and expands the concepts exampled in Garrett's diagrams without seeming the least bit pedantic, practicing reader-centeredness in every turn of phrase. Read about Garrett's highly readable book and it's great contribution to interaction design as a profession.
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Designing & Thinking with Grids

This article contributed to uxdesign.com by Bart Sitek, a Warsaw, Poland-based User Experience Designer, describes the purposes and uses of design layout grids, which helps keep your content well organized, consistent and easy to read, which is always important.

Good Design

User-friendly design is a term that has been around for ages. But what is it? What is good design? First we distinguish design from art in order to define design as a specific kind of craft: one of service and usefulness. Useful quotes and a list of characteristics of good design are provided. As it turns out, characteristics of good friendship are quite like those of good design. And that's a beautiful thing.
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Adaptive Path's Aurora

Adaptive Path's Aurora hit the virtual reality streets today. Most likely you've already seen the video. Nothing new, not really. Apple has been whittling away at it, a byte at a time. The difference here is not the bytes, but the size: will it be hard for interaction designers to chew on, or will it help us solve problems standing too long on 2-D legs only, that 3-D can solve?

Googleyness and Yahoo! II

In this second installment of Googleyness & Yahoo! we compare a second tier service of Google and Yahoo!, search engine marketing (SEM), to assess for ourselves which is "Googleyer" according to Google's own definition of Googleyness.

Googleyness and Yahoo!

How "Googley" is Google? Could Yahoo! be even Googleyer? In this article I take Google's UX design principles and measure its, and Yahoo!'s, top services—search and advertising—against them. Of course I can only provide one user's view, and that is no sufficient sample. So your participation is required. See my UX score card, and add yours to it. Three months from publication, provided a fair sample of qualitative views, scores will be totaled. Could Yahoo! be more Googley than Google?



UXLx: User Experience Lisbon 2015

Warm Gun 2014

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UX Salon 2014

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An Event Apart Orlando 2014


SEO and UX: Common Goals

User experience begins with the very first impression of a product or service brand. Many of us acknowledge the close relationship between information architecture (IA) and user experience design (UXD), as well as between IA and SEO. Here I draw direct lines between UX and SEO, to show how important a role SEO and social media can play in a comprehensive approach to user experience design.

Design Bliss

Designers often feel misunderstood and underutilized in their organizations. Is this because the other two main parts of the interaction design triad, business and technology, don't understand us? Or is it because we don't know enough about the contexts we're working in? Probably both. How do we change that? Here I combine the wisdom of Joseph Campbell with the experience of Luke Wroblewski in hopes that they will help you, too, bring the great "boons" of hard won user experience design knowledge back to the real world of business and strategy in a way that, as Campbell puts it, "in terms and in proportions that are proper to the world's ability to receive." The external readings footnoted are necessary for context.
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Minority Report Mouse's Deminse

How Sociable Is Your Media?

How To Win Users

Dale Carnegie published How to Win Friends and Influence People in 1936. This book has sold many millions of copies and been translated in do dozens of languages. What can it teach us in 2009 about interaction design that we should know and can use to improve our design and management strategies? A lot, in fact, as we strive to Win Users and Influence People's Behavior in the digital age.


Design Means Business III

In the previous second installment of Design Means Business a baseline definition of design was established so a vocabulary relating it to business strategy could be established. As strategy is traditionally in the business domain, and design sometimes thought merely visual, some tug-of-war has arisen in many organizations, either to pull control of UX design in to the business domain, or pull customer experience strategy in to the UX design domain. A case for improving collaboration and cooperation was made, and even principals of conflict resolution were lightly treated. In this next Design Means Business installment, the UX business/design strategy dichotomy is considered in terms of ways to move from subjective design and disagreement to empirical design objectives through UX process maturity, metrics, and measurement.

Design Means Business II

What is design, really, and why are designers such pests? In Design Means Business II we'll establish a baseline understanding of design's role and what motivates UX designers.

Design Means Business

This first Design Means Business installment addresses the business community, primarily. It aims to improve communication and collaboration between design and business partners working on web-delivered software projects. So UX and other designers may find it helpful, too.

Applying Successful Recipes

Recipes define both ingredients and process. One without the other will make mush of even the best stew, or mashup. Same for web applications. Yet too often solutions are under, or over, cooked. If method matters, shouldn't we be as methodical as any competent chef? After all, what is user experience if not a matter of taste, as well as real nutrition?

Strategy vs. Management?


Got Strategy?

User experience design and strategy are inseparable. Some say strategy is at the center of UX design. Which I wholly agree with. In this article we simply recognize the difference between business strategy and interaction design strategy, what they may, and may not, have in common, and what the purpose of interaction design strategy is. I don't pretend to have hold the strongest hand in this game, so your comments are strongly encouraged.
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Strategy vs. Management?