Most designers these days are heard coining the term User Experience (UX) without often a clear idea about the concept. Some think of it as the “magic wand” that would make users love their website. But hey, isn’t that what finally drives the business? Conventional definition of User Experience describes it as the overall perception and interaction of the user with a product or service.
But UX is not just interaction of the user with the system, its main attribute is probably usability. So let’s try and define the usability and UX goals that we consciously know. Common usability goals are effectiveness, efficiency, safety, ease of use, good utility. Similarly, common UX goals could be summed up as entertaining, fun, rewarding, aesthetically pleasing.
“The architect should strive continually to simplify; the ensemble of the rooms should then be carefully considered that comfort and utility may go hand in hand with beauty.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
So is there a trade-off between usability and UX? Can a product be both safe and fun? The answer is most definitely yes! In effect, usability answers the question – “Can the user’s goal be accomplished?” where as UX answers the question “Did the user have the best possible experience?” A designer can absolutely model a product keeping both these attributes in mind. Now coming to the other attribute of UX, which is its association with interactive system design. The phenomenal success of the i-Phone is a primary example of the same.
It is also a general observation that UX evolves over time. The first time a user tries a product might be with a slightly negative experience. Over a period of time, as he gets more familiar with the potential and features of the product, he might get more emotionally attached to it, leading to more enriched UX.
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