According to Wikipedia, user experience is “the overarching experience a person has as a result of their interactions with a particular product or service, its delivery, and related artifacts, according to their design.” While I’ve never labeled myself a designer, I have always cared deeply about user experience, even back before my information retrieval days, when I was working on graph drawing. Indeed user experience is the defining problem for HCIR.
One of my favorite resources for learning about user experience is the UXmatters blog. This group blog boasts a set of authors that represent a diverse collection of industry practitioners (and one academic) and offer concrete case studies and recommendations.
For example, in “Best Practices for Designing Faceted Search Filters“, Greg Nudelman offers a constructive critique of the Office Depot search user interface. Some of his material will be familiar to those who have read my faceted search book (particularly the chapter on front-end concerns), but the focus on a single example makes for a compelling read. I also liked Greg’s most recent post, entitled “Cameras, Music, and Mattresses: Designing Query Disambiguation Solutions for the Real World“. I was amused that he and I use the same “canonical” example for the need to offer clarification before refinement.
Here are a few more posts from other authors to give you a taste for the blog:
- “First, Do No Harm” by Pabini Gabriel-Petit
- “The Five Competencies of User Experience Design” by Steve Psomas
- “Beyond Usability: Designing Web Sites for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust” by Eric Schaffer
If you are a user experience professional, in name or in deed, then you should be reading the the UXmatters blog — or perhaps even contributing to it. Of course, you’re always welcome to contribute a guest post here too.