“Elements of User Experience”

“Elements of User Experience”

(My reflections on the referred article from Garret)

Garret’s presentation of ‘Elements of User Experience’ touched all vital aspects of web development that can affect user experience. What I liked most is the way the document brings into light how these user elements gets their unique roles in a web-based software interface or in a rudimentary hypertext system (eg: a company web-site). Another unique thing that I noticed is the way Garret distinguishes between Interaction Design and Information Architecture.

Organizational Behavior has its effects on web development during the conception/abstract phase. I think organizational behavior has a tremendous impact on how web development should proceed along with other driving factors such as goals and strategies. I shall reflect this topic based on my experience in implementing and managing web-based e-governance systems.

The stated goal of all these e-governance programs are to make government more transparent and approachable to the citizens by providing various citizen oriented services. Many a times, less focus is given to the original goal of providing an effective citizen oriented service. Sometimes they prefer to offer development projects to their pet company. Since the conceptualization, design and development methods varies for each company and since new government takes rule periodically, the web based systems undergoes re-design starting from visual design and most of the time, goes to the extend of changing the basic Information architecture. This has a major impact on user experience in terms of keeping up with changing/inconsistent designs. The web-site might lose credibility as it appears as a online store to display a party’s personal preferences and culture without rationality or goal oriented design and architectures.

Governments often promote their propaganda and advertise their progress in terms of various programs and incentives. This reflect as changing web-site content design, visualization and sometimes as changing web-site objectives and Information Architecture. For example, the new minister wants to display photographs (searchable) of his department’s main activities on the web-site and the current web-site does not have a photo-gallery. This calls for change in site’s original objective, which is to serve the citizens. Information Architecture needs to be changed since we need to add new section ‘Photo Gallery’ and appropriate changes need to be made to the navigation and search sub-system. When such internal politics (not party politics, but personal preferences) wants to satisfy their personal interests, the web-site might be looked up on as a mere center to expose personal achievements – This might lead to less user acceptance.

Reference:

Garrett J.J. (March, 2000). The Elements of User Experience. Retrieved from http://www.jjg.net/elements/pdf/elements.pdf on May, 2008.

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