Comparing a UX to the aforementioned UI and interaction, a UX can be explained by three Characteristics.

The first characteristic is its holistic nature:

For instance, let’s think about the experience of buying and using a mobile phone. When I want to buy a new mobile phone, I research by comparing products’ prices and specifications and look up videos and advertisements, and finally I pay a visit to a mobile phone shop to see how the phone actually works and feels. After I buy the phone of my choice, I take it out of the box and turn the power on and start using it to get a better feeling of how it functions. As I use it over the next few days,I am filled with all sorts of thoughts and feelings. The entire process of searching,comparing, buying, and using encompasses how useful I deem my phone to be. In this sense, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has set forth a holistic definition for a UX.

ISO defines a UX as the combined experience of what a user feels, perceives, thinks, and physically and mentally reacts to before and during the use of a product or service (ISO 9241-210:2010). Therefore, a UX encompasses
a broad range that not only includes the visual, tactile, and auditory aspect of a system beyond its screen and buttons but also how the actual system functions under an appropriate usage environment or context.

Here are both advantages and disadvantages to the broad range that a UX deals with. The advantage is that it contains many elements that firms think are important in influencing actual users. However, due to its broad nature, it is difficult to grasp exactly what UX attempts to convey. There are so many factors to consider that it
becomes almost impossible to consider all of them simultaneously. In the end, a UX causes the side effect of a solution to a problem that changes depending on the situation rather than provide a definitive solution that can be applied.

The second characteristic of UX

The second characteristi is that its focus is heavily tilted towards the user’s perspective. As indicated in Fig, let’s place the user and computer on two ends of a spectrum and see if our concepts tilt more towards either side.


UI tends to shift more towards the computer. For instance, the decision of whether an icon should be blue or yellow cannot be made without a computer screen and software that have been developed to suit that need. On the other hand, interaction leans relatively more towards the user compared to UI. Interaction is about how a user should manipulate the system, react to it, and in turn how the system should react appropriately while considering the user’s reaction. Interaction, therefore, sits in the middle between user and computer. However, the a UX is completely tilted towards the user. How a user thinks, feels, and behaves is its focal point. Therefore, UX is a subject that is more human-centered compared to UI and interaction. While it is good that a UX is human-centered (since, after all, what and how we experience something is important), there is a disadvantage to this approach. Just as every person has their own likes and preferences, the analysis of a UX is so subjective and soft that the line between what is good and bad has become blurred. For example, a usability test can quickly and fairly accurately determine what color an icon should be that the user clicks on in a swift manner. But when it comes to evaluate whether a user had an enjoyable or a terrible experience it is extremely difficult to objectively determine because this aspect of a UX is heavily subjective. And because the UX places its focus on subjective experience, it becomes a challenge to use a UX to design industrial systems that require professional knowledge such as a control system for a nuclear power plant or commercial airliners.

The third characteristic of a UX

The third characteristic of a UX is based on the above two characteristics. Since a UX encompasses a broad range and its effects have a direct influence on users’ experiences, the quality of a UX possesses a strategic value in the perspective of a firm’s development of a product or service. In the past when HCI was focused on UI and interaction, HCI professionals did not necessarily have to share their opinions with the CEO of a firm.

Ministry of User Experience
Ministry of User Experience
Ministry of User Experience Pakistan is non-government and nonprofit organization whose purpose is to promote User Experience in Pakistan
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