What is UX Design?

UX design = combining three types of activities
Designing a “user experience,” therefore, represents the conscious act of:

• coordinating interactions that are controllable (choosing food ingredients, training waiters, designing and programming buttons)

• acknowledging interactions that are beyond our control (uncomfortable seats in a 100-year-old theater, lack of fresh produce in winter, low-hanging clouds that hide a sunset.)

• reducing negative interactions (providing tents as emergency shelters at outdoor events in case of rain; making sure restaurant seating next to the noisy kitchen door is the last to be filled, putting in an extra intermission so folks can stretch their legs).

A good user-experience designer needs to be able to see both the forest and the trees. That means user experience has implications that go far beyond usability, visual design, and physical affordances. As UX designers, we orchestrate a complex series of interactions.

From: Eric REISS: A definition of ‘user experience’



“A wireframe is a simplified view of what content will appear on each screen of teh final product, usually devoid of colour, typographical styles, and images. Also known as schematics, blueprints, prototypes.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.265

Flow charts (vs. site map)

“Flow charts attempt to visualize a process, usually centered around a specific task or function, For web-based processes, flow charts often represent a series of screens that collect and display infromation to the users. Also known as flows, user flows, process charts.”

“What seperates a flow from a site map is that in the former, time is the defining factor. The relationships between the steps are sequential, not structural or hierarchichal . While site maps capture an information structure that may or may not match the user’s experience of the site, a flow chart defines a process from beginning to end.

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p. 229

Content audit and content inventory

“Content inventory is a list of all the information contained in a web site, along with data that describes the information from several points of view, like target audience or location. Also known as a content analysis or content audit (…)

The main distinction between these two documents [content inventory and content audit] is the level of granularity. In essence, the distinction is how much of the site you describe. With an inventory, the intent is to capture and describe every piece of content on the site. A content audit captures and describes less, focussing perhaps on the main content areas of the site or the top two levels of navigation after the home page. An audit establishes a boundary around the scope of the investigation.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.167

Concept model

“A concept model is a diagram that shows the relationships between different abstract concepts. You can apply the concept modeling technique in a variety of circumstances to explain different aspects of a website. Also known as concept maps or affinity diagrams.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.137


“A summary representation of the system’s intended users, often described as real people. Any project can have one or more personas, each representing a different kind of audience for the system. Also known as: user profiles, user role definitions, audience profiles.”

From: Brown, Dan (2007), Communicating Design, Berkeley: New Riders, p.15