02 December, 2015

User Experience Design & other Overlapping Disciplines

This article was originally published on Test Insane website.
The term user experience was coined by Donald Norman in the 1990s. A review of his earlier work suggests that the term "user experience" was used to signal a shift to include affective factors, along with behavioral concerns, which had been traditionally considered in the field. Every product/service solves an unmet need or a glaring problem. Solving an unmet need or a critical problem is one thing. Creating a delightful experience while getting work done is another thing. While any user might start using the product to accomplish some tasks, one of the aspects that might retain users or improve loyalty is user experience. 
User experience is not a single discipline, but a gamut of disciplines put together. While some people think of Usability and UX as same things, many don't know about several other disciplines that intertwine with UX itself. Dan Saffer, appeared to take that first step towards summarizing that in a pictorial format. Below mindmap is a brief  summary of Dan's idea:

UX is Collective Genius

In a typical project, some of us blindly assume that UX is designer or creative head's responsibility. In reality, UX is not about solo genius. UX is about collective genius. One needs to think of users and their experiences while doing feasibility study, developers have to empathize with users while developing technical design, designers have to study if users would use this product and be happy about it, testers have to consider testing for specific pain points in the product that might drive users away and implementation / maintenance teams have to hold the customer to high standards while customizing the product for them. In short, each and every team member contributes to UX in his/her own way, based on the understanding they have, of the product and the users.
In that sense, UX is everyone's responsibility