Eye tracking technology has numerous applications, from research to assistive technology. Understanding where we focus our attention and for how long can help web designers and other system designers to create a user-friendly product. This blog post will cover the basics of user experience (UX) design, as well as how eye tracking technology is enhancing this field.
UX refers to the way a person (user) feels when interfacing with a system. This system could be a software program, a website, or a product. UX studies involve some form of human-computer interaction (HCI), which is increasingly prevalent in our technically evolving society.
People who work on UX, or UX designers, research and analyze how users feel about a system, as well as how efficiently they interact with it. Specifically, UX designers study ease of use, utility, efficiency in performing tasks, and perceived value of the system.
They may study the system as a whole, or they may look at sub-systems and processes within a system. For example, they may study whether a search feature on a website is easy and relatively pleasant for a website visitor to use. Or, they may research the experience of filling out input fields on a web form.
UX is a relatively new discipline, with roots in the field of psychology. Dr. Donald Norman, a cognitive science researcher, coined the term, “user experience,” and was the first to describe the importance of user-centered design.
UX design is not only beneficial to developing effective web interfaces, but it also refines systems and processes in information dissemination, creates opportunities for increased accessibility for users of differing abilities, and enables businesses to gather data from a target market, for example.
Take a moment to consider all of the systems you interact with daily. Chances are, the fact that you take many of them for granted means that a UX designer has done his or her job successfully by creating a seamless user experience for you.