Usability and User Experience: What Should We Care About?

Usability and User Experience: What Should We Care About?

Cristian Rusu (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile), Virginica Rusu (Universidad de Playa Ancha, Valparaíso, Chile), Silvana Roncagliolo (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile) and Carina González (Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, España)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITSA.2015070101
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Human – Computer Interaction (HCI) should be a basic part of the formative process of all Computer Science (CS) professionals. Usability and User Experience (UX) were (re)defined by many authors and well recognized standards. UX is usually considered as an extension of usability. To move from usability to UX seems to be a tendency lately. The lack of generally agreed formal definitions of HCI/usability/UX may have consequences on their development and recognition among CS communities, especially in regions where HCI is poorly developed, as Latin America. Practical activities are fundamental in complementing the theoretical foundations of HCI/usability/UX. The practice is usually more appealing and persuasive than the theory. The gap between HCI/usability/UX research and practice may be reduced by applied research, problem – oriented, or at least based on real case studies.
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2. Usability And User Experience As Human: Computer Interaction Topics

The Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI) of the ACM defines HCI as the discipline concerned with the design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use, and with the study of major phenomena surrounding them (ACM SIGCHI, 2009). There is no agreement upon a definition of (the range of topics that form) the area of HCI and the above mentioned description is proposed only as a “working definition”. The lack of formal definition of HCI area is probably due to the many disciplines that it involves. The fact may have consequences on its advance and recognition among CS communities, especially in regions where HCI is poorly developed.

The importance of HCI education for software professionals should be evident and well understood, when designing CS programs, at all levels. Nevertheless it is common for CS professors to consider HCI as a secondary topic, or even a non-CS area (Rusu, Rusu & Roncagliolo, 2008).

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