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Week One Notes

Week One Notes

A holistic, multidisciplinary approach to the design of user interfaces for digital products, defining their form, behavior, and content. User experience design integrates interaction design, industrial design, information architecture, information design, visual interface design, user assistance design, and user-centered design, ensuring coherence and consistency across all of these design dimensions.
— Pabini Gabriel-Petit

Almost everyone will agree that the user experience is all about the total experience of a user as they interact with a product or service to achieve their goal. However, the role of user experience design itself is a little less well-defined.

For us, we will be defining user experience design as the process of applying a user-centered design approach to understanding and meeting the needs of users with an experience that is both usable and delightful. 

Too often, systems are designed with a focus on business goals, fancy features, and the technological capabilities of hardware or software tools. All of these approaches to system design omit the most important part of the process – the end user.

User-Centered Design (UCD) is the process of designing a tool, such as a website’s or application’s user interface, from the perspective of how it will be understood and used by a human user. Rather than requiring users to adapt their attitudes and behaviors in order to learn and use a system, a system can be designed to support its intended users’ existing beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors as they relate to the tasks that the system is being designed to support. The result of employing UCD to a system design is a product that offers a more efficient, satisfying, and user-friendly experience for the user, which is likely to increase sales and customer loyalty.

The following are the general phases of the UCD process:

  • Specify the context of use: Identify the people who will use the product, what they will use it for, and under what conditions they will use it.

  • Specify requirements: Identify any business requirements or user goals that must be met for the product to be successful.

  • Create design solutions: This part of the process may be done in stages, building from a rough concept to a complete design.

  • Evaluate designs: Evaluation - ideally through usability testing with actual users - is as integral as quality testing is to good software development.

By understanding the human emotions, motivations, and beliefs that surround a task, a user interface can be designed to accommodate and support user behaviors in a way that users will experience as natural and satisfying.

Usability is a measure of the interactive user experience associated with a user interface, such a website or software application. A user-friendly interface design is easy-to-learn, supports users’ tasks and goals efficiently and effectively, and is satisfying and engaging to use.

As the name suggests, usability has to do with bridging the gap between people and machines

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