When did people start using the phrase â€œuser experienceâ€ when they really mean â€œdesign?â€ As in â€œIâ€™d like you to show me the mockups of the new user experienceâ€ or â€œthat website recently came out with a new user experience.”
I mean, seriously.
In a sense, though, I suppose that in changing the design, the experience of the user is, of course, different. But the userâ€™s experience is a property that emerges from the userâ€™s interaction of a bunch of things that includes the actual design of the artifact. Unless someone has gone to the trouble of not just redesigning the website, but also the userâ€™s browser, computer, environment, senses, and brain, to name a few things, then you canâ€™t really go see the new user experience.
And really, how can you ever â€œseeâ€ a user experience just by looking at a picture or by clicking around on a newly designed website.
The best I can figure is that itâ€™s yet another case of buzzwords gone horribly wrong. There is an increasing sense that â€œuser experienceâ€ is importantâ€”that itâ€™s important to design for good user experiences, to have user experience professionals kicking around the office. Somehow, maybe, that got reduced to â€œuser experience = design.”
But itâ€™s as annoying as saying â€œuser testing.”