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.”

Top Ten Seven Definitions of User Experience / UX Design

Having determined to collect and share the top ten definitions of User Experience Design from the most credible sources, for you to form your own impressions, I found the number of respected sources falling just short, not in quality but quantity. So here, instead of ten, are the top seven definitions of user experience design. And it comes with an open invitation to you to contribute definitions that you find or know of via comments. Source references that are well known and established will be included.

As Don Norman claims invention of the term while VP of the Advanced Technology Group at then named Apple Computer (now “Apple”), and few contend it, he’s first:

Having given the first PC its abbreviated moniker (IBM PC), let’s give one of the earliest, if Also Ran, personal computing competitors its say:
2) (Why a secure server, though?)

Pabini Gabriel-Petit’s site is all about UX… the parts that matter anyway:

If Apple can’t have their UX definition, no one can:

Peter Morville, of polar bear book fame (aka Information Architecture for the World Wide Web), with Luis Rosenfeld’s help, opened all of our eyes to a universe of design beyond graphical user interface. In 2004 he offered his valuable UX model:

Kimmy Paluch’s declaratively titled write up is comprehensive:

3.29.09 Addition: Luke Wroblewski’s blog, always a interesting, useful, and inspiring read, referenced a discussion we’d previously had:

And the oracle:
Caution: links from this definition are highly biased, placed by self-interested authors (is there any other kind?), and may confuse children, the elderly, and infirm! (Joking of course… sort of.)

This short list is not intended to be comprehensive. Your contribution, via comments, below, is required for fuller exploration of our collective consciousness for the deeper, or lacking that, broader, meaning of User Experience Design:

Show 6 Comments
  1. Hi, is very cool that you compiled these definitions, the thing is I’ve come here before and the IBM one, def. number 2 is always a broken link for me, is that the same for everyone? or how can I see that definition?, ammm…couldn’t you like do this post giving the definition or a short definition from each link and then give the url for the full article? cause I can’t read the IBM one :p, just a thought.

    I say this cause for example the one from “Montparnas” is the definition of the wikipedia one, but still the full article there is the best to explain very simple the whole thing…

    And what about other definitions? why are these the more “official” ones? others doesnt’ count that much? :s

    Thanks anyway, really appreciate this =)


  2. Hi, me again,

    amm, I was doing some research and, mm, what about the one from ISO? the draft the are doing? :p

  3. Nice collaborative effort to compose all the reputed definition. Whatever the context of user experience is, it is the functional tool which facilitate the user interaction with the system. In a business dimension, user experience is considered as an efficient stream of service through which the proposed system will get a full fledged usability feature.
    Many companies like Salzer Technologies and DigitalQ offers a full in class business UX service to the application and able to take them forward in their business domain.

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