For the past few weeks I have been working with a team on redoing a large corporate website (almost two large corporate websites).
During the course of the project I have had several people, who are unfamiliar (and familiar) with web technology talk with me about UX and UI, but in terms of Design. They might say: "We need a re-design. Our branding is not displayed well." or the might say " Oh, but it was designed to do that, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do!" So, most of the people (I am encountering) talking in terms of design, are talk about the business design or the function of a website at a very high level. Not the UX and UI level of design. I have tried to explain it in the following terms
The words Usability and Design each suffer from a very unfortunate ambiguity. Usability in a very raw sense means is a tool usable. Just because every tool can be a hammer, does not mean that every tool should be shaped like a hammer. Design in computing also suffers a similar fate. If some computer tool does something, it does so because it was designed to do so. This does not mean that the computer tool is esthetically pleasing or that it creates a good impression on its user. An impression of such a nature that the user might want to come back to the site and use it again. The following diagram contrast the words, functional, reliable, usable, convenient, pleasurable, and meaningful.
Because images show so much more than words I looked around for some images to describe the difference I have been trying to communicate. This has resulted in the following collection of images. In the process of linking to these pictures I hope to introduce my readers to some of the ongoing discussion of professional UX design and development.
This image was take from Peter Morville's article on User Experience Design.
User Experience Design is the art and science of integrating all the various elements that comprise an interactive system so that:
- The user's needs, limitations, goals, desires, expectations, are served
- The publishing organization's objectives are served as a result of serving the user's (#1)
- The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
This Diagram of the Flickr user experience model has been attributed to Bryce Glass by Kenny Chen on 5 April 2008, at http://www.kennychen.net/blog/2008/04/05/flickr-user-model-diagram/.
This image comes from What Is User Experience Design by Kimmy Paluch.
This image is taken from User Experience Strategy.
Additionally there some good articles:
- UX ROI: User Experience Return on Investment
- User Experience vs. User Interaction
- The difference between Usability and User Experience
- Strategy by Design, the second page - about Recruiting T-Shaped People, was interesting.