What is User Experience?


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User Experience is everything” (Don Norman)

We experience things all the time. When we work, eat, celebrate Holidays, spend time with our kids and also when someone close passed away etc.

In a time when more and more time is spent online we have begun talking about what users experience. Today we use tablets, smart phones and computers a lot and it will result in higher demands on usability and experience.

user experience

The term is greater than “just” usability, it includes everything you experience when using something (a site, a system, a phone): and is affected by the usability, user interface, design, and graphics. A site with excellent usability is fantastic but it will not give warranties that the users stay on the site. We really don’t read the content when we are looking for something, we scan it. If the keywords or graphics don’t appeal to us or if the usability is bad we will leave.

The most used function in the web browser is the back button? I think this tells us something about User Experience, right?


Here are some wise words from a wise man that worked with design that fit humans for many years, Don Norman:


Don Norman -The design of everyday things

Don Norman is kind of a “guru” for designers. I can definitely recommend this amazing book, written by him:

If you have some hours to spend on a book about design, this is the one! It begins with some examples of bad design and the frustration it creates. The book is not just about websites and apps. Its about every day things we use and. It’s also about Human Computer Interaction and contains examples of bad design that makes you feel frustrated. When I read the book I exactly know what he means! One example is how Stove controls are placed according to the burners they belong to. It’s not that clear on all stoves witch control goes to which burner. This is a case of bad mapping, which also is the case on many websites. Navigation or buttons is placed where the user has no idea what they do. This might create a negative experience because the user gets frustrated.

The rest of the book are about humans, psychological factors, and how to create things that don’t create frustration when used. He goes through seven design principles, that he is rather famous for: affordances, signifiers, mapping, feedback, conceptual models, discoverability and constraints. The purpose is to connect design with humans and their abilities and needs.

So what do you think? Is there a possible connection between “the real world” and the “online world” when it comes to design principles? Please give your opinion in the comments field below.

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12 Replies to “What is User Experience?”

  1. One of the main things I have read about silicon valley is that you need to focus on user experience all the time. Try to look at your website or product from the eyes of the user. That way you can see the flaws and where you are missing!

    1. Hi! That is true, and important. I have seen people struggle so much to be able to perform actions with applications or online. Not what we should spend our time on:-)

  2. I always feel that user experience is what definite a business success and failure. End of the day, we have to keep in mind that the customers are human beings and human beings, we demand features and functions that ease the userbility. If we can’t give our intended customers a great user experience, you can be sure that the customer will not return to your service at all!

    1. So true, it’s a strength today to be aware of and act on these issues. I think it will grove in importance the more we are online and use different systems and application on the workplaces. Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

  3. Hi
    I always pay attention to websites design and the more thing that make me stay on a page is website design and how easy to use for accessing various areas.
    that’s amazing now to have The design of everyday things to read and improving my website too.
    do you have another post about user experience here?

  4. User experience is everything if you are trying to engage a reader and keep their attention and keep them focused on what they are reading. Content that is both useful and helpful along with eye catching images i have found work well to help keep your visitors on your site, but i do agree quite often that just isn’t enough. Enjoyed reading your article. Cheers!

    1. It might be enough as long as the readers/users get what they need, find what they are looking for without to much effort and struggle. Content and relevant images is important of course:-) Thank you!

  5. User experience is dependent upon many factors in relations of what takes place on a website. Like you said the back button is probably one of the most used by button. I’m always striving to improve user experience on my website, the book you listed above sounds pretty interesting. Will definitely have to give it a read to give my take on what I learn about user experience

    1. User experience can be thought of as a very complex thing, how do we create an experience for other people? This is not technology it’s psychology and behaviour. We need to listen to our readers, users and discover their needs. Why are they visiting our site? What are they trying to do? Are they able to do that in a simple way that doesn’t create frustration? If we like to meat our readers and users we have to help them get what they need:-) Thanks for visiting and for your comment!

  6. Hi,
    What an informative post.
    I have a website of my own, and you helped me understand something on user experience that I missing on my site.
    Thank for the valuable information and for your help.

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