Posted by: bbannan | February 22, 2010

User Experience and design-Edith

User Experience Design

User experience is a term that encompasses all facets of a users’ interaction with a specific product. It can range from “text on a search button, to the color scheme, to the associations it evokes, to the tone of the language used to describe it, to the customer support” (Kuniavsky, p. 43). Kuniavsky believes that the best way to approach the user experience is to chunk it, much like we would when learning any new content. Breaking down the user experience into sections allows us to understand the user experience as a whole. When addressing websites or other information management products, Kuniavsky breaks down the creation of the user experience into three categories, information architecture, interaction design and identity design.

Information Architecture – is the way content is organized or structured. For instance, the user experience with a website is greatly impacted, in a positive or negative way, based upon how the information is organized for the user. The user may choose to stay on the website because it is easy to use or be intrigued by its design. The user may also choose to leave the site because it is not logically structured, it does not meet the user’s expectation or the user does not understand how the content is organized.

Interaction Design – is the way the user interacts with the product, or in our case a website. When using a website, for instance, the information the user sees (text, images, advertisements, video), reads (text, interprets graphics, tables), hears (audio, sounds) and even manipulates (games, forms) are considered to be a part of a user’s interface experience.

Identity design – is the “style, the feeling, the vibe of a websites” (Kuniavsky, p. 50). A web site’s identity design involves anything from font style selection, background color or images, design aspects, themes as well as the editorial tone. Identity design can also extend to associations the site evokes. For instance, branding online content on a website with a logo.

Interaction Design: It’s all about the subtleties, is an article that touches upon an interesting aspect of interaction design. It discusses the Netflix site, a site that allows its members to rent movies online and have them delivered to their home. This article is a great example of how interaction design impacts site usage. The article focuses on the changes that were made to make the site more usable. It discusses positive changes as well as negative changes to the site as an example of how user interaction, specifically interaction design, may impact the website’s usability. The article also describes how the smallest of interaction design changes impacts user interaction with the website.

One example of interaction design that is discussed in this article is how combining certain pages and the sequence in which the pages appear, i.e. billing, shipping and summary page which displays the cost, can make a difference on how much usability the site gets. The team in charge of usability found that it was critical for the user to find out the cost of the movie before they would enter their credit card information. The sequence of events and webpages became very critical when evaluating the usability of the site. The slightest change in the sequence of the pages and users were far less interested in using the site. This is a great example from a marketing perspective but can be stretched into the educational realm. It also gives us an idea of how to design our learning environments, with the user in mind.

Link to article:



  1. Hello Edith!

    Taking your initial point further (that the User Experience encompasses all facets), your summary of Kuniavsky leads me to actually question Mr. Spool’s definition of his terms. Jared’s use of Interaction Design appears to include the elements of identity and information architecture which Kuniavsky calls out separately (and with which I would tend to agree).

    I actually found reading UIE article much more informative when I used Kuniavsky’s “three-legged” framework.

    From an Information Architecture perspective, I welcome your evaluation of my portfolio:

    From an Identity Design perspective, check out this GMU Group I just came across! What does their website’s design communicate about their identity?

    Thanks for the UIE URL, that’s the first I’ve come across that forum!

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