Understanding The Definition of “User Experience”

As a UI Designer, I got a lot of critic and feedbacks for every design I made, for example “The UX doesn’t feels right”, or “The UX doesn’t fit to the target user”. When the first time I’ve got that criticism,  I realize that User Interface (UI) is part of User Experience (UX). So, I tried to understand the definition of User Experience, and the different between them.

UX or User Experience for what I understand is the respons from user when interacting with a product or services. UX is very subjective and focus on how to use a product or service. For example, we can compare the experience from user when they buy a shirt from the local store and store in a mall. Both of them have a same target that is to buy a shirt, but the respons, emotions, and experiences they have would not be the same. That just how I simplify the meaning of User Experience.

So, back to my UI design. At the end of the day, the design will be use, feels and interact by the user. The feedback for that would be a user’s feels, emotions, and experiences. We can evaluate that data to improve the User Experience for that design.

Here, I gathered six popular definitions for User Experience in order to concentrate what the professionals think about its features and role. Having based on those great explanations, I try to generalize main thoughts about User Experience.

1. Understand your customer/user

According to usability.gov, focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project. UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.


2. Make the product simple and joyful

Don Norman dan Jakob Nielsen from nngroup.com, The first requirement for an exemplary user experience is to meet the exact needs of the customer, without fuss or bother. Next comes simplicity and elegance that produce products that are a joy to own, a joy to use. True user experience goes far beyond giving customers what they say they want, or providing checklist features. In order to achieve high-quality user experience in a company’s offerings there must be a seamless merging of the services of multiple disciplines, including engineering, marketing, graphical and industrial design, and interface design.

3. Practise the art of planning

According to TechTarget techtarget.com, UX is the art of planning a product’s design so that interactions with the completed product will be as positive as possible. User experience design addresses all aspects of how a product or service is perceived by users.

4. Make the experience dynamic and valuable

According to Wikipedia, UX refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person’s perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency.

5. Consider the human element

Jacob Gube on smashingmagazine.com said that is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. The system could be a website, a web application or desktop software and, in modern contexts, is generally denoted by some form of human-computer interaction (HCI).

6. Every single detail matters

According to whatusersdo.com, UX is everything that happens to your users when they interact with your business or organisation via your website, application or online communications. It includes everything they see, hear and do as well as their emotional reactions.

So, after read the definition of User Experience from different sources, I can conclude that

User Experience is how useful, easiness, valueable and meaningful a person feels when interacting with a particular product, system or services. A good UX can be achieve by having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations.

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