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User experience - A research agenda


Abstract and Figures

Over the last decade, 'user experience' (UX) became a buzzword in the field of human – computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. As technology matured, interactive products became not only more useful and usable, but also fashionable, fascinating things to desire. Driven by the impression that a narrow focus on interactive products as tools does not capture the variety and emerging aspects of technology use, practitioners and researchers alike, seem to readily embrace the notion of UX as a viable alternative to traditional HCI. And, indeed, the term promises change and a fresh look, without being too specific about its definite meaning. The present introduction to the special issue on 'Empirical studies of the user experience' attempts to give a provisional answer to the question of what is meant by 'the user experience'. It provides a cursory sketch of UX and how we think UX research will look like in the future. It is not so much meant as a forecast of the future, but as a proposal – a stimulus for further UX research.
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User experience a research agenda
{Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Psychology, Social Psychology and
Decision-Making, Darmstadt, Germany
{Information Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University, Israel
Over the last decade, ‘user experi ence’ (UX) becam e a buzzword in the field of human
computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. As technology matured, interactive
products became not only more useful and usable, but also fashionable, fascinating things to
desire. Driven by the impression that a narrow focus on interactive products as tools does not
capture the variety and emerging aspects of technology use, practitioners and researchers
alike, seem to readily embrace the notion of UX as a viable alternative to traditional HCI.
And, indeed, the term promises change and a fresh look, without being too specific about its
definite meaning. The present introduction to the special issue on ‘Empirical studies of the
user experience’ attempts to give a provisional answer to the question of what is meant by ‘the
user experience’ . It provides a curs ory sketch of UX and how we think UX research will look
like in the f uture. It is not so much meant as a forecast of the future, bu t as a proposal a
stimulus for fur ther UX research.
1. Introduction
User experience (UX) is a strange phenomenon: readily
adopted by the human computer interaction (HCI)
community practitioners and researchers alike and at
the same time critiqued repeatedly for being vague, elusive,
ephemeral. The term ‘user experience’ is associated with a
wide variety of meanings (Forlizzi and Battarbee 2004),
ranging from traditional usability to beauty, hedonic,
affective or experiential aspects of technology use.
UX has gained momentum in recent years, mostly as a
countermovement to the dominant, task- and work-related
‘usability’ paradigm. Ideas represented by UX are im-
portant, but by no means original. Early writings on
usability already expressed the notion that manifestations
of usability such as productivity or learnability are not
primary. Primary is the person’s experience at the moment
experienced (Whiteside and Wixon 1987). Or consider
Carroll and Thomas (1988), who close their article on
‘fun’ with:
‘We realize that many people will read this article as a
joke. To this extent, we are the victims of our own
analysis: there are risks in being serious about fun. Still
though, we continue to see, without humor, the prospect
of a decade of research analysis possibly failing to
provide the leverage it could on designing systems
people will really want to use by ignoring what could be
a very potent determinant of subjective judgments of
usability fun’ (p. 23).
It indeed took the field about a decade to absorb those
ideas. Consequently, first writings on aspects of UX were
mainly programmatic (e.g. Alben 1996, Hassenzahl et al.
2001, Overbeeke et al. 2002), aimed at convincing the HCI
community to take issues beyond the task-related more
seriously. Gradually, this literature has been replaced by
more conceptual papers (e.g. Hassenzahl 2003, Wright et al.
2003; see Forlizzi and Battarbee 2004, for a recent
overview). These papers tried to establish a common
ground, a shared view of what constitutes a ‘good’ user
experience. But even now, while UX is well discussed
on conferences and symposia, it only rarely enters the
relevant academic journals. We believe that the lack of
empirical research is one of the reasons for this. The
absence of empirical research whether qualitative or
Corresponding author. Email: *; **
Behaviour & Information Technology, Vol. 25, No. 2, March-April 2006, 91 97
Behaviour & Information Technology
ISSN 0144-929X print/ISSN 1362-3001 online ª 2006 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/01449290500330331
quantitative impedes theoretical advancement and
restricts our understanding of UX as concept and its
further development.
The present special issue on ‘Empirical studies of the user
experience’ is meant as a contribution to the limited body
of empirical work on UX. Our objective was to collect a
series of original, high-quality empirical papers on various
(mainly positive) aspects that go beyond the purely
cognitive and task-oriented. This request was well received
by the community. All in all, 28 manuscripts were
submitted for review. Thirty-nine expert reviewers assessed
the manuscripts. Our emphasis as editors was not only on
the quality of the papers, but also on the diversity of the
resulting collection. We set out to demonstrate the richness
of UX research, the diversity of topics, approaches and
The final issue contains seven papers. Kil-Soo Suh and
Sunjhe Chang (this issue) demonstrate how a technology
(i.e. virtual reality) leads to a particular experience (i.e.
telepresence), which mediates knowledge, attitudes, pur-
chase intentions and perceptions of product risk. In the
paper ‘Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds
to make a good first impression!’ (this issue), Gitte
Lindgaard, Gary Fernandez, Cathy Dudek and Judy
Brown show how fast impressions of the visual appeal of
a website are formed and how stable they are. Mark Blythe,
Josephine Reid, Peter Wright and Erik Geelhoed (this
issue) take an interdisciplinary approach to the empirical
study of UX. Their analysis of Riot!, a location-sensitive
interactive play, not only gives interesting insights into the
mechanics, problems and benefits of such a new technol-
ogy, it also reveals the way different conceptual and
methodological approaches lead to different perspectives,
which strongly benefit from each other. This article also
demonstrates the potential mismatch between designers’
intentions and users’ actual experiences. A group of papers
emphasises methods and tools: Regan Mandryk, Kori
Inkpen and Thomas Calvert (this issue) focus on using
physiological measures to study the UX with entertainment
technologies. With ‘affectemes and allaffects’, Lesley
Axelrod and Kate Hone (this issue) suggest and test a
novel approach to coding emotional expression during
experiences with technology. Ann Light (this issue) focuses
on interviewing techniques to gather insights into the
experiential. Finally, Marian Petre, Shaily Minocha and
Dave Roberts (this issue) transfer UX to the field and
demonstrate how a more holistic understanding of quality
in the context of business-to-consumer extends or alters
established tools and techniques.
We hope the present issue will encourage scientists and
practitioners to engage in empirical UX research and by
that to advance our understanding of UX. It is meant as
another starting point for rich research practices. But what
are promising topics to study beyond those already
addressed? Is there a ‘research agenda’ for UX? In the
remainder of this editorial, we attempt to provide a cursory
sketch of how we think UX research will look like in the
future. Our view is not meant to be an accurate forecast.
Rather, we intend it to be a proposal a stimulus for
further UX research.
A glance at the literature on UX, such as the ‘Design and
Emotion’ conferences (e.g. McDonagh et al. 2003), the
‘Funology’ workshops and publications (Blythe 2003,
Blythe et al. 2004), Helander and Tham’s (2003) special
issue on ‘Hedonomics’, the emerging literature on ‘Aes-
thetics’ (e.g. Tractinsky in press), or the work of Pat Jordan
(e.g. Jordan 2000) and recently Don Norman (2004a),
reveals three major perspectives. One thread predominantly
deals with addressing human needs beyond the instru-
mental; a second thread stresses affective and emotional
aspects of the interaction; and a third thread deals with the
nature of experience. Let us briefly discuss each perspective
(see Hassenzahl in press, for a further overview) and the
most interesting related research questions.
2. Beyond the instrumental
Since its early days, HCI research focused almost exclu-
sively on the achievement of behavioural goals in work
settings. The task became the pivotal point of user-centred
analysis and evaluation techniques (e.g. usability testing).
To ensure the interactive product’s instrumental value
became the major endeavour of the field.
However, this narrow focus on the instrumental was
repeatedly challenged. In an early attempt to define UX,
Alben (1996), for example, identified beauty (i.e. aesthetics)
as an important quality aspect of technology (see Hassen-
zahl 2004b, Lavie and Tractinsky 2004). Beauty clearly
goes beyond the instrumental. It becomes important
because of its intrinsic value (Postrel 2002), which echoes
the fact that beauty satisfies a general human need (Maslow
1954). Beauty is an end rather than a means.
Gaver and Martin (2000) argued for the importance of a
whole range of specific non-instrumental needs, such as
surprise, diversion, or intimacy, to be addressed by
technology. These ideas begin to disseminate into HCI
research practice, as demonstrated by faMiliar (Mandic
and Kerne 2005), an addition to email, which visualizes
‘rhythms in social engagements’ (p. 1617). It builds on
intimacy as a core construct (see also Vetere et al. 2005).
Drawing upon the concept of emotional usability (Logan
et al. 1994), Hassenzahl (2003) argued that future HCI
must be concerned about the pragmatic aspects of
interactive products (i.e. its fit to behavioural goals) as
well as about hedonic aspect, such as stimulation (i.e.
personal growth, an increase of knowledge and skills),
identification (i.e. self-expression, interaction with relevant
others) and evocation (i.e. self-maintenance, memories).
92 M. Hassenzahl and N. Tractinsky
This multidimensional model explicitly links product
attributes with needs and values. A product’s novelty and
the challenges it provides, for example, contribute to its
hedonic quality, which is relevant because it promises
fulfilment of an underlying human need a need for being
stimulated, to perfect one’s skills and knowledge, to grow.
Such means-end chains (e.g. Gutman 1997) provide insights
into the ‘meaning’ of products and by that, a better
understanding of how to address those meanings by design.
Albeit different in detail, all of these approaches have a
common goal: to enrich current models of product quality
with non-instrumental aspects to create a more complete,
holistic HCI.
What are the challenges of this perspective for future
research? Above all, non-instrumental needs must be better
understood, defined and operationalised. How do they
translate into product quality? Which product attributes
are linked to which needs? Based on a better understanding,
their interplay and importance can be studied. Perhaps the
most intriguing question is how the overall quality or the
‘goodness’ of an interactive product is formed, given
pragmatic and hedonic aspects and underlying needs
(Hassenzahl 2004b, Norman 2004b). Are instrumental
and non-instrumental quality perceptions related to each
other, as for example demonstrated for beauty and
usability by Tractinsky et al. (2000), or independent of
each other, as shown by Hassenzahl (2002) for hedonic and
pragmatic quality aspects? Are needs equally important, do
they form a hierarchy (as suggested by Jordan 2000) or
rather a particular, context-dependent prioritisation (Shel-
don et al. 2001), which may change with specific usage
situations, personal tastes or both? Can we create dynamic
quality models, which are able to prescribe an adequate
weighting of quality aspects (and the related needs) for a
given product and context of use? How do we design for
particular needs? And finally: What is the impact of
embedding non-instrumental needs into products in terms
of acceptance, valuation and choice? Tractinsky and Zmiri
(in press), for example, showed the choice of personalised
user interfaces (‘skins’) to be driven by aesthetic and
symbolic considerations. Is this finding generalisable or
does it depend on product ‘genre’ (e.g. ‘leisure’ versus
‘work’) and usage situation (e.g. ‘social’ versus ‘time
3. Emotion and affect
Current research emphasises the importance of the affective
system for a wide range of central processes, such as human
decision-making (e.g. Loewenstein and Lerner 2003) or
subjective wellbeing (Suh et al. 1996). The ‘Affective
Computing’ project was one of the pioneering attempts to
address affect by HCI (Picard 1997). It called attention to
the importance of affect and emotions. However, affective
computing takes a ‘computer’ perspective. It predomi-
nantly deals with questions such as how computers can
sense user affect, adapt to it, or even express its own
affective response (see Picard and Klein 2002, Hudlicka
2003). In addition, humans interacting with technology are
depicted as having mostly negative emotions. Conse-
quently, affective computing deals with mechanisms that
detect and undo negative emotions a substitute for human
and social care and friendship, close to an automated
version of anger management. For example, Interacting
with Computers Special Issue on Affective Computing
(Cockton 2002) is dominated by illustrations of how
interactive systems can aid irritated users, manage their
frustrations or prevent other negative emotions. In this
paradigm, the researchers envision computerised toys that
are ‘capable of soothing a crying child or of perhaps
artificially preventing strong feelings of loneliness, sadness,
frustration, and a host of other strong, negative emotions’
(Picard and Klein 2002, p. 23).
Although UX research shares Affective Computing’s
recognition of affect and emotions, it is rather concerned
with affective consequences on the human side than with
technology, which is able to have affect (see Hollnagel 2003,
for a critique of Affective Computing). UX takes a ‘human’
perspective. It is interested in understanding the role of affect
as an antecedent, a consequ ence and a mediator of technology
use. In addi tion, it is rather focused on positive emotions. To
prevent frustration and dissatisfaction had always been a core
objective even of the most cognitively driven perspective on
HCI. What is new in UX research is a focus on positive
emotional outcomes such as j oy, fun and pride.
A design example that actually seeks to foster positive
emotional experiences is Gustbowl (van der Hoog et al.
2004), a communication tool designed to connect children
and parents. Analyses revealed children parent commu-
nication to be predominantly emotional and built on
affective rituals. Both aspects are not supported by the
occasional phone-call, which makes the communication
sometimes awkward and slightly unpleasant, although
children and parents want the contact. Gustbowl is an
actual bowl, maybe placed in the hallway, which transmits
pictures of things thrown into it to its counterpart. The
other bowl acknowledges receipt with a wobble and an
image of the sender bowl’s content. Gustbowl exploits the
ritual of coming home. A father may have the habit of
depositing his keys, without much thinking, into the bowl
when coming home. A daughter living apart would receive
a slight wobble and a picture of the keys reminding her of
home, without the need for an explicit act of communica-
tion. Gustbowl enables the sending of affective messages in
an implicit, unobtrusive, effortless and continuous way,
which blends into day-to-day life.
A second example for an affective requirement addressed
by a technology comes from Millard et al.’s (1999)
User experience a research agenda 93
motivational user interface for call-centre software. Call-
centre agents expressed the need to have an instant
overview of the quality of interaction they had so far with
their customers. Negative interactions tend to get more
weight in retrospective assessments. Thus, a single negative
interaction can have a significant negative impact on an
agent’s wellbeing, with no regard whether in fact the
majority of interactions had been positive. A common way
to avoid this type of bias is the use of diaries. Based on this
general idea, Millard and colleagues designed moodies,a
function that allowed collecting an electronic token for
each call, which represents the quality of the interaction
with the customer. This collection enables an agent to
produce an instant, unbiased image of the overall quality of
customer interaction during his shift.
Desmet et al. (2001) demonstrated, how affect could
become a design goal. They tried to fit a mobile phone to
the user’s preferred affective response. While all users
naturally required a positive response, some preferred an
exciting phone (i.e. high psychological arousal) while others
preferred a calming phone (i.e. low psychological arousal).
In a gradual process, Desmet and colleagues designed two
mobile phone prototypes, which indeed fitted the affective
requirements of the two different groups.
A slightly different line of research has it roots in the
Technology Acceptance literature. It studies the interplay
and causal links between user perceptions (e.g. perceived
usability) and intention to use or actual behaviour. Zhang
and Li (2004), for example, found the perceived affective
quality of a course management system to be an antecedent
of its perceived usability, usefulness and the intention to
use. This is in line with previous research (Davis et al. 1992,
Igbaria et al. 1994), which reported an impact of perceived
enjoyment on technology acceptance.
Generally speaking, there are two basic ways in dealing
with emotions in UX (Hassenzahl in press): One line of
research stresses the importance of emotions as conse-
quences of product use (e.g. Kim and Moon 1998, Desmet
and Hekkert 2002, Hassenzahl 2003, Tractinsky and Zmiri
in press). The other line concentrates on their importance
as antecedents of product use and evaluative judgments
(e.g. Singh and Dalal 1999, visceral level in Norman 2004a).
What are the challenges of this perspective for future
research? Obviously, individuals do have affective require-
ments. They must, for example, regulate their moods. This
is especially relevant for emotion work (Hochschild 1990),
where the display of affect (e.g. being friendly, being in a
good mood) becomes a central part of the job description
(e.g. flight attendant, hotel receptionist, call-centre agent).
A central question is, how resulting affective requirements
can be collected and translated into concrete products or
functions as shown by Gustbowl or the motivational
interface? Should technology be a vehicle for affect
maintenance and regulation? Another interesting question
concerns emotions as design goals. Is it possible to design
emotions? Or are emotions too ephemeral (see Hassenzahl
2004a)? In other words, if emotions are a product of many
different situational aspects, designers may not have the
ability to exert the amount of control needed for creating
particular emotions. Using an interactive product may not
be comparable to watching a movie in a cinema or visiting a
theme park. Thus, designers may settle for establishing the
context for an emotion rather than the emotion itself. And
further: What are the effects of addressing affect and
creating affective responses on judgements (e.g. liking,
willingness-to-pay) and behaviour (e.g. money or time
spent on product, performance). For example, is it possible
to trace the way beauty creates emotions and, more
generally, the way those emotions influence judgement
and decision-making, both immediately (Lindgaard et al.
this issue) and reflectively?
4. The experiential
The experiential perspective on UX emphasizes two aspects
of technology use: its situatedness and its temporality. In
this view, an experience is a unique combination of various
elements, such as the product and internal states of the user
(e.g. mood, expectations, active goals), which extends over
time with a definitive beginning and end. The experiential
assumes all these elements to be interrelated to interact
and modify each other. The outcome of this process is the
actual experience. For example, consider the difference
between ‘a tomato in one’s fridge’ versus ‘the taste of a
marvelous tomato sauce on homemade gnocchi’ or ‘a
mystery thriller on one’s bookshelf versus ‘being awake all
night because of the thrilling story, which unfolds while
reading’. The product (a tomato, a thriller) is used in a
particular situation, which then forms an experience.
Experiences have advantages. In contrast to material
outcomes (e.g. ‘to experience a concert of one’s favourite
pop star’ versus ‘a new watch’), experiential outcomes have
a more positive impact on one’s wellbeing (van Boven and
Gilovich 2003). They possess affective quality and help to
transform and regulate affective states. It seems, thus, a
good idea to emphasise the experiential in interactive
products rather than the material.
Forlizzi and Batterbee (2004, p. 263) go a step further
and distinguish between ‘An Experience’, which ‘can be
articulated or named, has a beginning and end, [and]
inspires behavioural and emotional change’ and ‘Experi-
ence’ as ‘a constant stream of ‘‘self-talk’’ that happens
when we interact with products’. The former acknowledges
the experiential as complex, unique and thus, outstanding
and hard to repeat. The latter view underlines the temporal
aspects of experiences, their subjectivity and dynamics.
Both perspectives raise many challenges and interesting
questions. How can we cope with the seeming complexity
94 M. Hassenzahl and N. Tractinsky
of experience? Similar to the question about our ability to
design for certain emotions, it is not clear whether we can
‘design’ an experience. Can designers exert enough control
over all relevant elements in a way that a positive
experience becomes certain? Or do we rather ‘design for
an experience’, that is, to take experiential aspects into
account while designing, without being able to guarantee a
particular experience. Another perspective would acknowl-
edge the ubiquity of experiences and rather ask how we
could design products in a way that positive experiences,
successes, joy are attributed to the quality of the product
rather than to other situational aspects? This perspective
may require UX to break one of the fundamental
assumptions of traditional HCI: interactive products must
step back, be transparent and blend into the context. A
good product is one that performs without being recog-
nised. But is it not the aspiration of all designers to gain
recognition for the positive experiences caused by their
Another question arises from the ‘experience as stream of
self-talk’ perspective. How is this stream transformed
into retrospective summary assessments (e.g. Ariely and
Carmon 2003)? Such assessments represent an experience.
They have an impact on future experiences. Moreover, they
form the basis for communicating about experiences.
Hassenzahl and Sandweg (2004), for example, showed
summary assessments of software’s usability to depend
heavily on problems encountered at the end of a usage
episode. This end-effect highlights the difference between an
experience and retrospective judgements about experiences
(see Kahneman 1999, for a thorough discussion of this idea
in the context of wellbeing). Judgements about experiences
and the experiences themselves are related, but not
5. Summary and conclusion
So, what is UX? We took a brief look at three prominent
perspectives. Each perspective contributes a facet to our
understanding of users’ interactions with technology, while
sharing some ideas and arguments with the other perspec-
tives (see figure 1).
Thus, none of these perspectives fully captures UX. UX
is about technology that fulfils more than just instrumental
needs in a way that acknowledges its use as a subjective,
situated, complex and dynamic encounter. UX is a
consequence of a user’s internal state (predispositions,
expectations, needs, motivation, mood, etc.), the character-
istics of the designed system (e.g. complexity, purpose,
usability, functionality, etc.) and the context (or the
environment) within which the interaction occurs (e.g.
organisational/social setting, meaningfulness of the activ-
ity, voluntariness of use, etc.). Obviously, this creates
innumerable design and experience opportunities.
The current strong interest in UX, which encompasses
both practice and research, is not accidental. Many
interactive products found their way into our daily lives.
State-of-the-art machinery (graphics, sound, networks,
miniaturisation, etc.) allows for more than mere function-
ality. At the same time, the growing and changing base of
users shifts the parameters of demand for interactive
products. The UX perspective takes this shift seriously.
Its focus on aspects beyond the functional, on the positive,
the experiential and emotional is no coincidence. It is
driven by commercial vendors, who are sensitive to the
changes in business climate, by designers who appreciate
new design opportunities, and by a scientific community
that shows renewed interest in the affective system and its
interplay with cognition.
Especially the focus on the positive aspects of technol-
ogy use mirrors a trend in psychology, where Seligman
and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) argued for a new millennium
psychology to be positive, i.e. to deal with human
strengths and the promotion of wellbeing rather than
with human weaknesses and healing alone (see also
Kahneman et al. 1999). UX in the sense of a positive
HCI would, thus, focus on how to create outstanding
quality experiences rather than merely preventing usability
problems. Again, this will question another implicit
assumption of traditional HCI, one that equates high
quality with the absence of problems. This may be
analogous to the notion that absence of illness equals
health. But just as there is much more to wellbeing than
the absence of malady, so must there be more to UX than
the absence of problems. From our perspective, one of
HCI’s main objectives in the future is to contribute to our
quality of life by designing for pleasure rather than for
absence of pain. UX is all about this idea.
Figure 1. Facets of UX.
User experience a research agenda 95
We would like to thank our supportive expert reviewers:
Carol Barnum, Mark Blythe, Katrin Borcherding, Scott
Brave, Cindy Corritore, Pieter Desmet, BJ Fogg, Jodi
Forlizzi, Bill Gaver, Matthias Go
bel, Martin Graff, Kai-
Christoph Hamborg, Jeffrey Hancock, Tsipi Heart, Paul
Hekkert, Ben-Tzion Karsh, JinWoo Kim, Jim Lewis,
Clayton Lewis, Gitte Lindgaard, John McCarthy, Joachim
Meyer, Rolf Molich, Andrew Monk, Kees Overbeeke, Ant
Ozok, Nayna Patel, Whitney Quesenbery, Ginny Redish,
Josephine Reid, Harald Reiterer, Rick Schifferstein, Andrew
Sears, Jonathan Sykes, Hartmut Wandke, Terry Winograd,
Peter Wright, Ping Zhang, Martina Ziefle. Last but not least,
we would like to thank Ahmet Cakir and Tom Stewart for
encouraging us to put together the present special issue.
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User experience a research agenda 97
... Building on these points, another framework presented by Hassenzahl and Tractinsky (2006), points out the different dimensions of UX as shown in Figure 2.24. The first dimension is "beyond the instrumental", which covers holistic, aesthetic, and hedonic points. ...
... 24. The facets of UX(Hassenzahl and Tractinsky, 2006) Anderson (2011) presents a hierarchical rather than overlapping model of UX, named as the "UX Hierarchy of Needs", as shown inFigure 2.25. The upper and lower parts of the pyramid illustrate different points. ...
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Music has always been a key element for people to connect with themselves and others. For this study, the main focus is to investigate pre-recorded music playing experiences through time with changing technology and design. As technology develops, many habits and behaviours of people change. Listening to music is an experience that has changed throughout the decades, with regards to technological developments and social contexts. From radio and gramophones to mobile phones and online streaming, the means of listening to music has been through many great changes. Various products and interfaces have been used to organize and deliver recorded music, such as Walkman’s, CD players, and iPods. In this sense, designers have always been involved in presenting the pre-recorded music playing experience to people. As the needs and expectations of users have evolved, so designers’ contributions have also developed, especially in the transition from physical to digital music players. The history of this evolution will be explored in this study, plotting how pre-recorded music playing experiences have changed or remained the same alongside the changes in product design and means of delivering music. A proposal of design and future music playing experiences will be presented at the end of the thesis.
A number of research projects aim at air traffic control independent from the controller’s location and his outside view. In the context of one of these projects—VICTOR (Virtual Control Tower Research Studies), which was initiated by the German air navigation service provider Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), a completely new concept of Aerodrome Remote Control Center (ARCC) was investigated. In contrast to previous approaches, the ARCC-concept broadened the monitoring and controlling capabilities of the tower controller towards several airports at the same time. It thereby created new requirements for air traffic control, i.e. an eminent need for planning the air traffic flow of multiple airports. For this additional task the concept of a planning tool was developed, taking into consideration a user-centered approach, the guidelines for usable interfaces and a well perceived user experience. Following these Human Factors standards, our planning tool was developed to be useful and ensure safe handling, but also to look and feel good. For its evaluation, an analytical inspection method, i.e. heuristic evaluation, has been used as well as a questionnaire assessing the aesthetics of the graphical user interface. Eight usability experts assessed the tool, taking notes of any peculiarities and usability problems and carrying out the associated severity-rating. With the help of this methodology, 56 issues were identified and corrected. Furthermore, results from additional qualitative statements of the experts for development and optimisation of the user interface were subsequently used for re-design. In terms of looks, the planning tool scored above average in aesthetics ratings. This chapter briefly introduces the tool and its design, and subsequently focuses on our evaluation procedure and results.
UX is now an acknowledged business process across several industries. Having grown out of Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction and Interaction Design, UX is increasingly witnessing scholarly attention outside these historical roots. However, this popularity of UX also seems to have caused a broadening of the UX concept – where several non-UX professional roles and perspectives now shape its meaning. This makes its relationship with interaction design more ambiguous and possibly more diluted, potentially widening the gap between UX as an academic focus and its associated professions. Therefore, we seek to empirically briefly explore how UX is treated in HCI textbooks, as well as current design-related job postings. To that end, a research-practice analysis was conducted based on a literature review and an empirical analysis of job postings for UX design-related professions. Based on this limited study, we suggest that these multidisciplinary perspectives have transformed UX into a kind of placeholder for any ‘interaction’ experience, within the set of academic definitions and included job postings. Moreover, it becomes clear that within the scholarly HCI debate this transformation is accepted and fostered – as it borrows theories from other disciplines that are driving these different perspectives. To that end, it can be argued that UX has developed to be a holistic business perspective – rather than a product specific perspective – where a multitude of non-traditional UX-roles take part in a businesses’ UX efforts. Resulting from this development, we argue that UX nominally has become somewhat decoupled from its roots in the interaction design profession.
Previous research on icons in human-computer interaction has always focused on usability and recognition efficiency, but few kinds of research on user cognition. This research aims to evaluate the relationship between icon aesthetics of different types of apps and user cognition. This study uses three types of App icons in the Huawei app store: text symbol icons, graphic icons, and image icons as examples. Through a questionnaire survey, aesthetic and cognition variables were assessed. The study confirmed that the aesthetic level of graphical icons is high, and the participant’s cognitive results of different icon types are different.
Online learning platforms are used on a daily basis by a variety of stakeholders. Students, educators, administration officers, IT departments, learning experience designers but also design and development teams are engaged with online learning platforms for a different scope and need, through a different space and individual perspective. Studies show that the effectiveness of the platforms is questioned from a pedagogical and a user experience point of view. Is it possible that the educational background of the user experience designer involved in the design process affects the effectiveness of the platform as well as the user and learning experience?
This chapter reviews a major theoretical issue underlying usability engineering that emerges when usability is defined in terms of user experience. Usability engineering is emerging as an identifiable design philosophy and approach to the building of usable software systems. Usability, ultimately, lives in user experience. Therefore, usability engineering must be grounded in experience. Engineering is commitment to action in the world. It is building artifacts economically according to specification and infinite time. Engineering always operates against a background of scarce resources, such as talent, materials, time; and money. Usability Engineering provides a collection of powerful tools to support this part of the process. Engineering involves building things. Almost hidden by the transparency of this truism is that engineering involves a commitment to action in the world. A commitment is a pledge to cause to happen, by a specified time, an event with shared, agreed upon conditions of satisfaction. Engineering, and more generally commitment, depends on interpretation against a shared background of meaning, in other words, against agreed upon goals and conditions of satisfaction.
Human-computer interaction (HCI) can be defined as a discipline, which is concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems [products] for human use (Hewett et al, 1996). Evaluation and design require a definition of what constitutes a good or bad product and, thus, a definition of interactive product quality (IPQ). Usability is such a widely accepted definition. ISO 9241 Part 11 (ISO, 1998) defines it as the “extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” Although widely accepted, this definition’s focus on tasks and goals, their efficient achievement and the involved cognitive information processes repeatedly caused criticism, as far back as Carroll and Thomas’ (1988) emphatic plea not to forget the “fun” over simplicity and efficiency (see also Carroll, 2004). Since then, several attempts have been made to broaden and enrich HCI’s narrow, work-related view on IPQ (see, for example, Blythe, Overbeeke, Monk, & Wright, 2003; Green & Jordan, 2002; Helander & Tham, 2004). The objective of this article is to provide an overview of HCI current theoretical approaches to an enriched IPQ. Specifically, needs that go beyond the instrumental and the role of emotions, affect, and experiences are discussed. Purchase this chapter to continue reading all 7 pages >
Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability go hand-in-hand in good design.
ever, the field has been defined largely at a conceptual level, with the space of devices that might populate it little defined either analytically or by example. In order to better understand the range of information appli- ances that might evolve, we developed a large number of conceptual design proposals which we presented in a work- book produced for our partners. These speculations were intended to open a conversation with the group about the values that might characterise everyday technologies—val- ues seldom reflected in existing products. The goal of this paper is to describe the Alternatives work- book both in terms of the proposals it made for future information appliances and as a method for pursuing design. First, almost half the paper is devoted to the pre- sentation of reduced versions of the workbook pages, slightly modified to retain legibility, as a way of simulating their impact directly. Second, we discuss the ideas in terms of the cultural values they suggest for technologies meant to be integrated in everyday life. Finally, we describe the proposals as an example of research through design, describing how they were designed to balance concrete- ness, openness and multiplicity to allow the emergence of a design space that could be developed with our partners. ALTERNATIVE VALUES Suggestions for how digital technologies might be employed in everyday settings tend to represent a narrow ABSTRACT As a way of mapping a design space for a project on infor- mation appliances, we produced a workbook describing about twenty conceptual design proposals. Here we describe them both in terms of content and process. On the one hand, they serve as suggestions that digital devices might embody values apart from those traditionally associ- ated with functionality and usefulness. On the other, they are examples of research through design, balancing con- creteness with openness to spur the imagination, and using multiplicity to allow the emergence of a new design space.
Remote controls are part of everyday life. Unfortunately, the experience of using a remote is not always pleasurable. This research documents the process of developing multiple remote control concepts that are ergonomic and enjoyable to use. As part of the design process, we researched design concepts with 147 consumers in three cities. The research yielded design-specific data, but also provided insight to some general consumer trends in remote usage and preference for children and adults. This research also suggests that an expanded definition of usability may be required for certain product categories such as consumer electronics. Central to this expanded definition are the concepts of behavioral and emotional usability. Behavioral usability refers to the traditional work related definition of usability. Emotional usability refers to additional needs, such as entertainment or enjoyment, that enhance the product usage experience.
This study examined the effects of two main factors affecting microcomputer technology acceptance: perceived usefulness and perceived fun. We examined whether users are motivated to accept a new technology due to its usefulness or fun. Results of this study suggest that perceived usefulness is more influential than perceived fun in determining whether to accept or reject microcomputer technology. We also examined the impact of computer anxiety on acceptance. Results showed that computer anxiety had both direct and indirect effects on user acceptance of microcomputer technology, through perceived usefulness and fun. We also found attitude (satisfaction) to be less influential than perceived usefulness and fun. Implications for the design and acceptance of microcomputer technology and future research are discussed.