What is User Experience?
With the release of AdaptUX bringing recruitment software user experience (UX) to the fore, Shane Wheeler, Marketing Communications Executive, Bond International Software, researches the fascinating subject of UX and shares a helpful overview…
How did the term ‘user experience’ originate?
Best known for his books on design, such as the best-selling ‘The Design of Everyday Things’ (1988), Donald Norman is an expert in the fields of design, usability engineering and cognitive science and holds the post of Director at The Design Lab, University of California. Studying and publishing works on user-centred design for many years, Norman coined the term ‘user experience’ in the mid-1990’s.
“I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design graphics, the interface, the physical interaction and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning.” – Donald Norman
We would argue the term now represents the experience of any user, working within any field, via any chosen technology; from toddlers using tablets to play games, to particle physicists using software to control the Hadron Collider – the experience and the results achieved are the most important things. In our case, using recruitment software to facilitate success and growth for recruitment agencies.
What is user experience?
Today, the term ‘user experience’ is widely considered to refer to a person’s all-round experience of using a particular product, system or service. Key questions which help decide if the user’s experience is good include:
- Does the system meet the exact requirements for its purpose, without problems or delays?
- Do users have all the information necessary to carry out their tasks, without being overloaded, needing to run unnecessary actions, make calculations or recall information themselves?
- Are interaction techniques familiar, behave as expected and prevent errors?
- If users make errors, are they easy to fix?
- Are there shortcuts to frequently used features, and for frequently run actions?
- Do users understand the system and feel in control?
- Are users able to quickly and easily provide feedback?
User experience covers all aspects of ‘human-computer’ interaction; from practical use for successfully completing tasks, to emotional ties such as how enjoyable the system is to use each day.
“User experience (UX) focuses on having a deep understanding of users, what they need, what they value, their abilities, and also their limitations. It also takes into account the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project. UX best practices promote improving the quality of the user’s interaction with and perceptions of your product and any related services.” – usability.gov
How is user experience measured?
Every user brings previous experience, preferences and requirements to the system they are using, so in order to consistently deliver a great user experience long-term, software providers must remain dynamic, respond to change and ensure systems continue meeting and exceeding their required purposes.
Software, mobile and social media use is now so widespread, ‘human-computer’ interaction has pervaded practically every area of activity and we all have feelings and opinions on our ‘best’ and ‘worst’ user experiences. As a result, many providers of interactive products, software and websites make sure to measure their user experience success via questionnaires, focus groups and more.
Find out how Bond researched user experience in the recruitment software market and designed the newly-released AdaptUX
How can recruiters benefit from the best user experience?
At Bond we undertook extensive research and analysed a great deal of feedback ahead of re-designing Adapt to create AdaptUX; pouring everything we learned into the new system. Following the principles above and tailoring them specifically to the recruitment industry, we believe AdaptUX delivers the ultimate recruitment software user experience.
The ‘human-computer’ interaction when using AdaptUX soon becomes second nature. The system presents all the information users need – in the easiest to understand ways, with instantly recognisable icons and reminders – and effectively streamlines recruitment cycle workflows through active menu systems.
For more information and the story behind AdaptUX, watch our video series