UX = User Experience
UX is an acronym used often related to software product design. User experience (UX) is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.- Wikipedia
User Experience as a profession in Software industry consist of many roles. Some are -
- Usability Engineer or Analyst,
- Interaction Designer / Product Designer,
- Information Architect,
- Graphic / Visual Designer,
- User Researcher / Ethnographer / Social Scientist,
- UX Designer / UX Architect / Chief Design Officer
Primary UX Roles and Competencies
What is Usability ?
Usability is a measure of how easy your system is for users. Its a combination of many different principles like -
a) Learnability -
- How quickly can a novice start using the product?
- How quickly can a novice become an advanced beginner and an advanced beginner become a Competent performer?
- How much of training and practice is necessary to become a user at a given stage?
- How many novice users and advanced beginners explore the software to become more efficient / …advanced in stages?
b) Ease of Use -
- How easy is it to use the product for users at a given stage?
- How many users in different stages can use the product, and to what level?
- How many tasks do users at a given stage need to do that they need not or should not do?
- How much information do the users need to provide that the computer already has or should have?
- How easy is it for a group of users to work together?
c) Error – Free Use -
- How many and what kind of errors (catastrophic, major and minor) are made by users at different stages to carry out benchmark tasks?
- How many errors do users make repeatedly?
- How many times do users do different things than what they intended because they misunderstood?
- How long does it take for the users to identify the error condition?
- How many users can identify the method of recovering from errors?
- How forgiving is the interface? What percentage of errors can users recover from?
- How much time does it take for users to recover from errors?
d) Speed of Use -
- How long does it take for the user at a given stage to carry out a benchmark set of tasks?
- How long does it take for users to recover from errors?
e) Retention over Time –
- How much of the interface can a user at given stage recall after predetermined gaps (hours, days, …months, years)?
- With how much effort and time can a user at a given stage relearn what he has forgotten?
f) Subjective Satisfaction –
- How much did the users like the software?
- For users at given stages, how does it compare over competition (including doing things manually)?
- What kind of experience does the product give to its users?