What is User Experience? Examples of UX in real life

Added on December 27, 2019 - Category: UX

So, you might be wondering… What is User Experience?

Similarly, you might be wondering how UX affects our life.

As we’ve seen in the Definition of User Experience, when we talk about this experience we are talking about a holistic vision about a system or product. Or, in some cases, the planning of a future need.

But UX definition is very broad and vague. It takes from different disciplines and includes them as their own. Thus, the limits of such experience become confusing. If we take the notion of basic components (user, experiencer, intentionality, design), it is possible to recognize what is NOT User Experience.

In terms of technological systems, these distinctions are simple and we won’t go deep on them.

But there are other designs of experiences that are (or should be) very common. Many people do not recognize them. Or recognize but do not know how to reach the results that the user may perceive.

What is User Experience? Let’s see some examples…

We can see a very common example when we go to a bar or restaurant. The user experience consist in the menu, music, dishes, tablecloths, lighting, attention, brand image, conferred status, etc. In a normal bar, all this won’t be planned in an organic way.

It will be based on previous experiences, aesthetic taste, economic possibilities and maybe some simple market research. Or even replaced by mere intuition

But in places of certain status, it is possible to find experiences designed by professionals. In these cases, every detail generates a maximization of said experience. And therefore, of the benefits.

Another common experience is something that does not exist in my country (Argentina), but it should be common: the design of urban user experiences

For example, at the time I’m writing this, the city where I live is building major constructions for public transportation. At the same time and place, they are doing sidewalks, leaving only a small space to walk for pedestrians. 

Since these works were carried out in densely populated high traffic areas, the pedestrian space (of 1 or 2 people at the same time) is clearly insufficient. So, pedestrians began to walk along the road, with the consequent security risks. 

Because of this, drivers must exercise extreme caution, generating blockages in all corners.

All the above chaos got worse because the perpendicular streets began to get blocked at the same time. And the same happened with those streets perpendicular to them, in a domino effect.

Even if you do not live in the city of Buenos Aires, you can probably imagine without more explanations that the user experience is not good.

Or, to be more blunt (yet more accurate): nobody cared about User Experience in any way, by any means whatsoever.

I’m sure this is not happening only in our city (I have seen nightmares like this in several cities around the worl, even in US and Europe).

Getting the gist of it

What happened here? 

Well, we can venture that someone deduced that if both things are done at the same time, you save time. So the works will end sooner.

But of course, the opposite happened.

Due to the chaos generated by the simultaneous interventions, it took much more time.

This is something that any experiencer can demonstrate before the work starts.

What is User Experience? Accessibility is one of its main areas

Continuing with examples, we can find successful or failed user experiences in almost anything we experience daily. 

All these things are part of the area of ​​interest of an experiencer

Each of them sets up an experience for themselves, and at the same time, they intertwine, communicate and interact to configure more complex experiences

As complex as … one day in the life of each of us.

Additional User Experience Resources

User Experience and Experience Design – M. Hassenzahl (PDF)

Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Research – M. Kuniavsky (PDF)

User Experience (UX): Towards an experiential perspective on product quality – M. Hassenzahl (PDF)

Bringing user experience to healthcare improvement: The concepts, methods and practices of experience-based design – P. Bate, G. Robert

Disclaimer: This content was translated to English from the original we wrote in Spanish, available in UXpañol

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