Thursday, November 19, 2009

Experience Design

Hey ~ so I noticed that this competition is purely on the bases of usability and experience design.. well I found this user experience design manual so we could use this information~
ON: Experience Design 101

Experience design can sometimes be a slippery term. With all the other often used terms that float around in its realm in the technology and web space: interaction design, information architecture, human computer interaction, human factors engineering, usability, and user interface design.

People often end up asking “what is the difference between all these fields and which one do I need?” This article examines the term and field of user experience to plainly extrapolate its meaning and connect the dots with these other fields.

Those of us in the field have stated that the discipline takes the theory and the techniques of traditional design, which it merges with theoretical and practical approaches from other disciplines. The result is a gestalt-like synthesis of unique procedures and methods, and of a project-based approach to develop objects, environments and systems.

Interaction design seeks to establish a dialogue between products, people and physical, cultural and historical contexts; to anticipate how the use of products will affect comprehension; and to determine a form that is appropriate to its behavior and use.

Experience design takes into consideration not only physical devices but services. Our lives are increasingly connected through telecommunications networks and filled with immaterial things: music, films, TV and other information sources. These services, provided by companies and public institutions, are as important as the machines through which we access them: the phone, pager, PDA or set-top box.

Experience design involves the design of immaterial as well as material things: services and software as well as hardware. Interactive technologies need a new kind of design, a fusion of sound, graphic and product design, and time-based narrative.

Developing this new kind of design will lead to a new aesthetic interface: one of use and experience as well as of form. When function and information (and perhaps entertainment) converge you should get a universal emotional design that takes the most positive human behaviors into account.

Getting The Terms Right

User experience is a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. It most commonly refers to a combination of software and business topics, such as selling over the web, but it applies to any result of interaction design. Wikipedia definition

Interaction design is a sub-discipline of design which examines the role of embedded behaviors and intelligence in physical and virtual spaces as well as the convergence of physical and digital products. Sometimes referred to by the acronyms “IxD” or “iD”… Wikipedia definition

Information Architecture (IA) is the art and science of structuring knowledge (technically data), and defining user interactions. Wikipedia definition

Usability is the measure of the ease with which particular people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles that may predict whether an object is found usable in practice. Wikipedia definition

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is the study of interaction between people (users) and computers. It is an interdisciplinary subject, relating computer science with many other fields of study and research. Wikipedia definition

Human factors engineering, also referred to as Ergonomics is the study of optimizing the interface between human beings, and the designed objects and environments they interact with. Wikipedia definition

User interface design is the overall process of designing the interaction between a human (user) and a machine (computer). It includes graphic design, information design and a wide variety of usability methods. Wikipedia definition

User experience design is a subset of the broader field of experience design; the latter being defined as:…an approach to the design of products, services and environments based on a holistic consideration of the users’ experience. Experience design is therefore driven by consideration of the ‘moments’ of engagement between people and brands, and the memories these moments create. Also known as experiential marketing, customer experience design, experiential design, brand experience.

Based on this definition, experience design uses the interactions of customers with products, services and company branding to optimize the overall impressions left by these. User experience design takes a similar approach and applies it to a specific set of products– computer-related ones. For example, an experience designer may refine the customer service and ambience of a hotel, whereas a user experience designer will optimize the customer’s interaction when making a reservation online, interacting with the hotel website or will improve the staff’s systems for managing hotel operations. The key difference can be found in the examination of the word ‘user.’

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