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An international peer-reviewed journal

User Experience Design: The Evolution of a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Deborah J. Mayhew

Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 3, Issue 3, May 2008, pp. 99-102

Article Contents

Going Forward

Those of us in the Web user experience profession need to partner with this new kind of specialist. Easy task completion (traditional usability) is not enough in the Web world. Appealing visual site design is not enough. A site visitor needs to not only be attracted to a site and able to figure out how to buy (or register, sign up, etc.)-they need in addition to be able to tell quickly that a site will meet their needs, and they need to want to buy from this site, as opposed to a competitor's site. This is a key aspect of overall Web site success.

So yet again, we find ourselves in a position in which we need to embrace and adopt new specializations within the user experience profession. At this point, a multi-disciplinary team approach to Web user experience design is the key to overall success within our profession. Just as programmers had to do 20 years ago, user experience professionals need to embrace other specializations within our field and learn how to work with them most effectively. Part of the key to this is defining and adopting a development methodology that clearly incorporates all these skill sets in a balanced way. This may be the main challenge before us going forward. Programmers have gone through a lot of changes and had to adapt in many ways since the 60's. But they are still considered indispensable to software development. While the usability profession has made a lot of progress and inroads in the industry over the past 25 years, we still are not, by and large, considered integral and indispensable. By aligning ourselves with other user experience specialists of the types described above, and jointly inserting our methods into the standard and underlying software development methodologies in our organizations, we have a better chance of achieving this strategic goal.