In the past two years I’ve been working to create UX artifacts for the purpose of teaching. It took a while because I needed to sort out all the noise from what eventually turned into an Experience Design Model. I’m sharing this concept with you here. In the future I will share my notes as well so that you can see how I arrived here.
There are a number of Experience Design Models out there so you can decide which works for you. My concept brings together mental models (see Indi Young’s book) and UX to help us organize the process and the work that we do as designers. My intention is to strengthen each UX discipline by creating more focus. I have created a LinkedIn group to start a conversation about this work and I’m hopeful you can join in and give me your thoughts. I will continue to expand on the subject and include UX activities I use, plus others I will no doubt learn about from you and others.
The groupings I’ve created are well known. However, based on the concept of mental models, I have separated each grouping as its own discipline. I don’t believe we are capable of placing random UX activities into our tool belt just because we are UX practitioners. I believe some of us are more capable in the data analysis side and others more capable in the human relationships side of design. But more on this later.
As to the grouping definitions, while I’m happy with the majority of them, I am concerned with task analysis. I would like to know if you have a better definition than what currently exists on Wikipedia. Maybe one of our UX authors can give us guidance here. Below, I have placed the definition language you see in the image. I’ve noted where I got the definition or if I put it together myself.
(Ta) Task Analysis is the analysis of how a task is accomplished, including a detailed description of both manual and mental activities, task and element durations, task frequency, task allocation, task complexity, environmental conditions, necessary clothing and equipment, and any other unique factors involved or required for one or more people to perform a given task. –Wikipedia.org.
(Ca) Circumstance analysis is concerned with understanding everything that may affect your product based on the current state of its value network; that is all connections within the cost structure of your product. –Olga Howard
(Ga) Gamification analysis discovers the value of users and their activities as they relate to your product. It creates value systems that engage users to your product and extends those value systems to your broader set of customers. –Olga Howard
(Ia) Information architecture is the art and science of organizing data to support usability. – I found several people using this definition but I would be happy to get one for the IA Institute.
(Id) Interaction design defines the behavior of artifacts, environments, and systems by anticipating how individuals use these elements and how these elements mediate human relationships and affect human understanding. –ixda.org.
(Ua) Usability analysis determines the level of ease or difficulty in the use of any particular interface. – I found several people using this definition but would love to hear if you have a better one.
In order to focus our UX disciplines I have made the following distinctions.
- Task analysis centers around what makes sense.
- Circumstance analysis centers around decision-making.
- Gamification analysis centers around user engagement.
- Information architecture centers around what [your product] looks like.
- Interaction design centers around what [your product] feels like.
- Usability is concerned with what [your product] does.
As a UX Director these distinctions help me organize UX skills around projects. As a UX practitioner I am more capable on the data analysis side. That means my most meaningful work comes from task analysis, circumstance analysis, gamification analysis, information architecture, and usability. I don’t spend practitioner hours on what a product feels like–from the sense of what I believe Interaction Designers do. As I move forward I am hopeful that I will hear form those of you who do spend your time on what products feel like so that your expertise can inform this work.
Next time I will discuss the distinctions I made above so that you can see where this is headed. Thank’s in advance for your input.