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User Experience Evaluation und Gestaltung/ User Experience Evaluation and Design

Our research on user experience (UX) evaluation and design focuses on two aspects: the role of prototyping as well as psychological needs as a starting point for UX design and evaluation.

Research on prototyping particularly considered the validity of prototypes in evaluation studies. Early product concept evaluation, which is based on descriptions or conceptual sketches instead of functional prototypes or design models, has many practical advantages. However, a question at hand is whether the format of representation impacts the results of empirical "user studies". In order to provide a valid basis for evaluation, the prototype must provide a meaningful representation of those product aspects in the center of interest. In studies together with Kirstin Kohler and colleagues we showed that the filter-fidelity-model can provide a helpful tool for defining the appropriate level of prototyping in evaluation studies.

Research on psychological need used psychological need theories as a way of categorizing experiences in UX design and evaluation. Any positive experience eventually stems from psychological need fulfillment, and experiences differ immensely depending on the needs fulfilled (e.g., competence, relatedness, popularity, stimulation, security). In the case of product experience, need saliency depends on the kind of activities a product suggests. Typical pairs of salient needs and activities are stimulation and playing, competence and (mastering) tasks, popularity and helping others. Needs thus provide a meaningful way to describe and evaluate (user) experiences. The needs profile emerging from a needs questionnaire provides a differentiated picture of the user experience and the actual source of pleasure. Besides evaluation, psychological needs can also be a guidance or source of inspiration in design. A design decision for or against a particular activity (implied by functionality) is always also a decisions to push a particular need to the fore and others to the back. For example, applications documenting personal effort and success in a certain domains (e.g., sports, healthy nutrition) may primarily create competence experiences. However, an additional feature that allows sharing and comparing data with others may shift this slightly from competence to popularity. Thus, depending on which need the designer wants to make salient, one may pick or even eliminate seemingly essential functions.

Further reading

  • Diefenbach, S., Lenz, E. & Hassenzahl, M. (2014). Experience Design Tools. Ansätze zur Interaktionsgestaltung aus dem Blickwinkel psychologischer Bedürfnisse. Usability Professionals 2014. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Chien, W.-C., Lenz, E. & Hassenzahl, M. (2013). Prototypen auf dem Prüfstand. Bedeutsamkeit der Repräsentationsform im Rahmen der Konzeptevaluation. i-com. Zeitschrift für interaktive und kooperative Medien, 12 (1), 53-63. [Link]
  • Kohler, K., Hochreuter, T., Diefenbach, S., Lenz, E. & Hassenzahl, M. (2013). Durch schnelles Scheitern zum Erfolg: Eine Frage des passenden Prototypen? In H. Brau, A. Lehmann, K. Petrovic, and M. C. Schroeder (Eds.) Usability Professionals 2013 (pp. 78-84). Stuttgart: German Chapter der Usability Professionals' Association e.V. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Eckoldt, K., Diefenbach, S., Laschke, M. & Lenz, E. (2013). Designing moments of meaning and pleasure – Experience Design. International Journal of Design, 7 (3), 21-31. [Link]
  • Lenz, E., Diefenbach, S., Hassenzahl, M. & Lienhard, S. (2012). Mo. Shared music, shared moment. In Proceedings of the NordiCHI 2012 Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 736-741). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S., Hassenzahl, M., Eckoldt, K., & Laschke, M. (2010). The impact of concept (re)presentation on users' evaluation and perception. In Proceedings of the NordiCHI 2010 Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 631-634). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S. & Göritz, A. (2010): Needs, affect, and interactive products – Facets of user experience. Interacting with Computers, 22 (5), 353-362. [Link]

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