22 April 2011

Dagstuhl UX white paper

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Dagstuhl
Thirty user experience (UX) researchers and practitioners participated in a three day seminar in Dagstuhl in order to bring clarity to the concept of user experience.

The participants – who came from universities and corporations such as Logitech, Nokia, Philips and Sap – represented different perspectives to user experience from holistic to modeling approach, from real-time psycho-physiological research to investigating user experience after a long period of time, and from standardization and research to consultancy work.

By ‘demarcating’ user experience, the organizers wanted to make the relation clearer to the neighboring concepts of usability, interaction design, consumer experience, etc. The term created a lively discussion on whether this field needs demarcation: many researchers do not want their research field to be limited, while some industry people need a sound judgment on what user experience work includes. Despite the different needs, the participants seemed to agree on the need for bringing clarity to the vague concept of user experience. The participants also identified the need for further work on clarifying the different theoretical perspectives behind the different interpretations of user experience, and their impact on user experience work both in industry and academia.

The main result of the seminar was a white paper, which aims to clarify some core concepts of user experience. As can be seen from the abstracts in this collection, it has been challenging to come up with a white paper that would serve all needs and do justice to all the different perspectives. This work was on conceptual level, so the paper does not provide direct practical guidance for UX work. Nevertheless, thanks to the wide variety of perspectives to user experience represented, the seminar was an eye-opening experience for the participants.

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