Approaches and Principles for UX Web Experiences: A Case Study Approach

Approaches and Principles for UX Web Experiences: A Case Study Approach

Fernando Almeida (Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Porto, Portugal) and José Augusto Monteiro (Higher Polytechnic Institute of Gaya, Porto, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITWE.2017040103
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The challenge of creating user experiences involves a panoply of multidisciplinary competences in terms of knowing tools, processes and the business itself. This study intends to identify and synthesize the main approaches and principles adopted by web design and e-business companies to create immersive user experiences. In order to achieve this objective, the authors conducted six semi-structured interviews with web design and e-business companies. They highlight that companies adopt specific-device design, responsive design and adaptive design approaches. Companies considered fundamental to attend technology life-cycle, heterogeneity of technologies and devices, identification of customer needs, relevance of test phase, scalability of applications, and accessibility and usability issues. Additionally, the customer experience testing is considered a key element to measure user experiences and companies expect that business and technological dimensions will be two key factors with future impact in their business.
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The web design process is changing dramatically in these last years. Web pages themselves are no longer the core of the Internet experience. As a consequence, web designers are gradually moving for ensuing challenges by looking for new products and ecosystems. Web design is currently emerging as a combination of tech and cultural trends highlighting the need for a broader approach. Nouvel (2015) states that the emergence of high quality templates, mature design patterns, automation, artificial intelligence, and mobile technology are signalling the end of web design as we know it.

The Professional Association for Design (AIGA) formulates that top competencies for web designers in 2015 should include the ability to create and develop visual response to communication problems, as well as an understanding of hierarchy, typography, aesthetics, composition and construction of meaningful images and, simultaneously, the ability to solve communication problems including identifying the problem, researching, analysing, reaching a solution, generating, prototyping, user testing and outcome evaluation (AIGA, 2015).

One of main drivers that is changing the market is the increased importance of social networks and mobile users. According to Statista (2015), the number of global internet users surpassed 3 billion in early November 2014 and around 63% of them used mobile phones to access their social accounts. Additionally, Bosomworth (2015) analysed the most popular devices used to search content in the Internet, and states that PC/Laptop has a quote of 91% followed by smartphones (80%), tablet (47%) and console games (37%). Furthermore, Bosomworth (2015) predicts that the main emerging devices used to search the Internet will be smart TV (34%), smart watch (9%) and smart wristband (7%)

The ubiquity of mobile and new emerging devices presents technical and design challenges. Nowadays, a large range of different devices exist to visit websites and each of them has a different screen size. So, web designers have to deal with the problem of how to present the website on different screens. On large screens, there is space for more information than on tiny screens. Furthermore, mobile and new emerging devices users, such as smart TVs, console games or smart watches, have other needs than a user who browses from a PC. Besides that, users tend to create a first opinion about a website after 5 seconds once the page loads and 88% of the users are less likely to return if they had a bad user experience (Zorzini, 2014).

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