What is UX? (User Experience)

HowToAV.tv talks to AV expert and Senior AVIXA Instructor - Chuck Espinoza - to discuss 'UX' (User Experience) - and how UX has now become the key defining factor to satisfying customer requirements in an AV system.

What is UX -  or User Experience?

Understanding UX for AV DesignThis is all about User Experience. It's a big topic right now and evolving as one for the primary key design disciplines and increasing number of successful designers, system designers and intergrators are making this a key part of their specifications.

A system can't just work; it has to feel good. We have to feel good about using it, (that's a good user experience). It's not just the look and the function but it's the feel. How it makes you feel when using the system. So the whole design process is centred around function, look and feel to the person that's using the system.

Who should be involved in developing an effective UX?

It's a combination of a lot of things. End users have to have some knowledge and communicate with the designers. The designers have to evolve their thinking beyond technology, they have to think about the ergonomics and think about natural human behaviour. Manufacturers have to keep up with the evolving technologies making the processors faster (if you hit a button and it takes forever for the action to happen that's a bad user experience).

Making things more streamlined and making the look of a product aesthetically pleasing. Likewise designers have to keep up with the technology. What needs to be worked on now is incorporating human factors, adding more into the emotional aspect of people and how it makes people feel.

This is something we have to keep visiting with our end user and possibly a bit of education is needed with the customer.

Why is User Experience important?

A better user experience is becoming a requirement out there in the industry and in commercial systems. One of the key reasons for this is because end users' expectations have increased so much. We're all used to technology at home that just works; now we have an expectation that no matter where we are going things should just work rather than us having to work at it.

So a lot of what's driving it is the comfort from home, bringing that into the work place and just technology being public.

2N Access Unit Available from CIE GroupYou have to understand the User, to understand their UX needs

100% - doing site surveys, first meets and program analysis of systems.

Not only do you want to know the dimensions of the room, the things that are going to be on the ceiling and floor for sound reflectivity. How bright the room is for my video to make sure the contrast ratio is correct etc. I want to know what the task is they're trying to accomplish. For example how do they structure meetings? Are they a green building?

Knowing how the user behaves is going to help to design for their behaviours.

Communication with the architects and interior designers to build a great user experience

Not only architects and interior designers but behavioural specialists and people who are into analysing habits. If you can incorporate a habit you have into your design it feels good to you.

A familiar feeling because you do it all the time - that's a good experience. Whereas a bad user experience - for example if you think about a door design, the natural act if you see a door with a bar is to push it, where as with a handle our natual reaction is to pull it. So if the door doesn't have that function most people will think 'there's something wrong with me, I didn't do it the way the instructions said'. That's actually bad design for the human.

If we can incorporate these habits/familiarities into the system; you start it, you like it and you use it. You think that is a good experience, therefore you use it more and get good with it. You don't have to change your patterns as they have been incorporated into the design.

Let the CIE design team help with your next AV system

CIE System Design teamCIE's award-winning team of AV and systems integration experts provides a unique total project management service to the UK installer/integrator market.

Our AV experts offer a wide range of added-value services above and beyond the expectations of many other distributors including; System Design, Product Specification, Wiring Diagrams, Rack Design & Build, System Configuration, Training and Onsite/Remote System Support.

Our customers can access any or all of these services - many of which are totally free-of-charge - on a project by project basis; benefitting from increased skill levels, specialists in new technologies & integration or simply to increase your resource for pre- and -post sales support.

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