User Experience (UX)
This research group on UX connects researchers from different research domains of the Chair of Ergonomics under the concept of UX. The linkage between researchers within this group is the interest in and evaluation of factors that influence the emotional relationship between the human user and a product within different contexts. Influencing factors that affect these three aspects (i.e., the human user, product and context) are investigated separately as well as jointly.
UX is typically defined in connection with a product or object to be used. In the (ISO 9241-210 2010) document, UX is defined as pertaining to interactive systems and is understood as a “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service” (Section 2.15). The ISO document additionally specifies UX to include (1) “all the users’ emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, [behaviors] and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use”; (2) “… is a consequence of brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive [behavior] and assistive capabilities of the interactive system, the user’s internal and physical state resulting from prior experiences, attitudes, skills and personality, and the context of use”; and (3) “[u]sability, when interpreted from the perspective of the users’ personal goals, can include the kind of perceptual and emotional aspects typically associated with user experience. Usability criteria can be used to assess aspects of user experience” (Section 2.15). Additionally, we also consider suitability, defined as the degree to which the use of some product is appropriate given a specified context of use (see also (ISO 17287 2003) for a term definition relevant to transport information and control systems), as relevant to UX when interpreted from the perspective of the users’ subjective experience of product use within indispensable contexts.
Our group’s understanding of UX is based on the aforementioned standardized description. We define UX as the composite outcome of the interaction between the human user, a product/environment and context, before, during and after use (ISO 9241-210 2010; see also Hassenzahl, Tractinsky 2006; Roto et al. 2011). We believe that UX is not only limited to interactive systems but also any product or environment with or within which a human interacts. By interaction, we understand a “mutual or reciprocal action or influence” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary), from the human’s perspective, of two or more entities, one of which being the human user. Specifically, examples of interaction are: a product, system and/or interface requiring user input or communicating relevant information to the user (e.g., software, Smartphone App, in-vehicle infotainment system device, etc.); an environment within which a human is present (e.g., workspace [office, vehicle, etc.]); an object a user uses in order to accomplish a task and/or goal (e.g. robots, seating, etc.). Reflecting other research groups at the LfE, we actively research the following topics:
- Manual, assisted, cooperative and automated driving
- Software and mobile devices
As we are situated at the Chair of Ergonomics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, our focus is three-fold: we concentrate on the optimization of the human operator/user in terms of well-being as well as system performance (see also ISO 6385:2004 and/or ISO 9241-210 2010, Section 2.5 for a definition of ergonomics) and the interaction with the human user. Our mission is, through a profound understanding of the human user, to not only make technology, products (to be understood as both physical objects and/or interactive services with either other humans, human-like entities or organizations), devices and workspaces more efficient, comfortable, pleasurable and safe for the human user but also to make them feel as such; the latter stressing the importance of subjectivity, affectivity and human perception in UX evaluations in addition to objectively defined values. We achieve these goals by:
- Investigating and understanding relationships between factors of the three aspects (the human user, product and context) from which both positive and negative UX emerges;
- Identifying factors that affect UX both positively and negatively;
- Developing different methods and tools to evaluate UX;
- Establishing theories and models of UX based on user-studies, psychology and sociology:
- Establishing prediction models of UX;
- Planning and executing UX evaluations as well as analyzing, reporting and presenting the results of such studies.
Hassenzahl, Marc; Tractinsky, Noam (2006): User experience - a research agenda. In Behaviour & Information Technology 25 (2), pp. 91–97. DOI: 10.1080/01449290500330331.
ISO 17287 (2003): Road vehicles -- Ergonomic aspects of transport information and control systems -- Procedure for assessing suitability for use while driving.
ISO 6385 (2004): Ergonomic principles in the design of work systems, revised 2016.
ISO 9241-210 (2010): Ergonomics of human-system interaction -- Part 210: Human-centred design for interactive systems, revised 2015.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "Interaction". Available online at Merriam-Webster.com, checked on 2/24/2017.
Roto, Virpi; Law, Effie; Vermeeren, A.; Hoonhout, J. (2011): User Experience White Paper. Bringing clarity to the concept of user experience. Dagstuhl Seminar on Demarcating User Experience.