• Document: UX Gap. Analysis of User Experience Awareness in practitioners perspective. Christopher Gihoon Bang
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UX Gap Analysis of User Experience Awareness in practitioners’ perspective Christopher Gihoon Bang Department of informatics Human Computer Interaction and Social Media Master thesis 1-year level, 15 credits SPM 2016.24 Abstract Many within the industry, including designers, recognize the need to consider UX as the key to designing new products and services. As a consequence of this, the territory of UX has extended into many different industries and different disciplines. However, some practitioners still claim a UX project does not pay off even if they have improved UX. This way of thinking is induced from an old issue of UX. The term itself does not have a clear theoretical definition and it even makes a contradiction of itself. This phenomenon further aggravates the issue. The rapid expansion of UX territory made a gap between academia and practitioners. This research attempts to measure and examine the gap between academia and practitioners. A survey was conducted to observe how aware practitioners are of UX and their ability to recognize it as compared to the recent academia’s research. Keywords: HCI, User Experience, UX Awareness, UX Gap, Practitioners, Comparative Analysis 1. Introduction Over the last ten years, HCI academia has made unprecedented, explosive growth with the notion of User Experience (UX). The academia has been emphasizing the importance of a deeper understanding of user experience to create better design, brand image, and reputation during this time. As a result, enhancing user experience became a critical issue and is predominant in the competition of many different industries. This positive phenomenon made the area of UX extend beyond the traditional HCI task territory. Now UX has extended to all over the industry and within the numerous fields where users exist. However, this positive phenomenon occurred as a side effect from an old issue of UX. The unclear definition of UX has been an issue for a long time in academia. Battarbee and Koskinen (2005) pointed out that the term itself lacks proper theoretical definition and is used in many different, even contradictory, ways. Moreover, the notion of UX has become more complex and ambiguous because of this phenomenon. Now UX is not a concept that is handled only in HCI. It is discussed with various people who have different educational backgrounds and different work experiences. The academia has made many efforts to solve this issue. Forlizzi and Battarbee (2004) mentioned that a number of models and theoretical approaches have been developed to help understand the experience. These include contributions from design, business, philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, social science, and many other disciplines. These approaches examine the experience from a number of perspectives. However, differing from expectation, UX is still an elusive notion with many different definitions. Law, Roto, Hassenzahl, Vermeeren, and Kort (2009) insisted, despite some recent attempts, to develop a unified view on UX. The lack of a shared definition of UX confuses or even misleads many researchers and practitioners. Many practitioners still claim difficulties in handling UX. It is induced from the aspect of UX as experience. UX is not a 1 number but a totality; it cannot have an absolute value or be divided as a part or whole. It is relative and constantly affected by the change of the user environment. The user environment is linked with the development of technology. The development of technology has grown rapidly in recent times and as a result, users are put in a whole different user environment. Consequently, the notion of UX has gone through many major and minor alterations and evolved with the history of HCI according to this phenomenon. This built bigger and wider notions of user experience. Moreover, since HCI’s territory grew bigger than its traditional area and extended into many industries with practitioners that have a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds, this notion spread rapidly to a number of different fields. This has made the notion ambiguous, which causes confusion and makes it difficult to proceed with projects within the industries. This confusion creates both small and big issues that interfere and cause delays in the development of projects. There is a gap in the understanding of UX between researchers in academia and practitioners from different fields. Contrary to the expectation of HCI academia, many hands-on workers still do not understand and think of UX in same way. The history of HCI academia is relatively short compared to other disciplines. However, the progress that academia has made in the last thirty years is huge. User Interface (UI) was a critical issue in the 80's. The concept and testing of usability was the most important matter to academia at that time. Model Human Processor (Card, Moran and Newell, 1983) is one representative model which is focused on measuring ease and efficiency of use. A common obj

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