Analyzing user experience problems

June 12, 2008

“Creating the user experience is really little more than a very large collection of very small problems to be solved. The difference between a successful approach and one doomed to failure really comes down to two basic ideas:

  1. Understand what problem you’re trying to solve. So you’ve worked out that the big purple button on the home is a problem. Is it the bigness and the purpleness of the button that needs to change (surface)? Or is it that the button is in the wrong place on the page (skeleton) or that e function the button represents doesn’t work the way users expect it to (structure)?
  2. Understand the consequences of your solution to the problem. Remember that there’s a potential “ripple effect” and down through the elements from every decision you m~ke. The navigation design that works so well in one part of your site might not quite meet the needs of another section of the architecture. The interaction design for the product selection wizard might well be an innovative approach, but will it meet the needs of your technophobic users? “

From: Garrett, Jesse James (2003), The Elements of User Experience, Berkeley: New Riders, p.163

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