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What is User eXperience (UX)?
UX views holistically how a person feels about using a system in a broad context including related services. The definition of user experience is still developing and overlaps with usability.
To create good user experience you need to know the users, learn about their needs, behaviors, environments, and requirements. You need to think about the possibilities provided by the new technologies, be sensitive to the market insights, keep in mind business goals, and be open to unexpected information, while using good aestetic and functional design.
UX is be evaluated in different phases of the design and development process, for instance, by using user interviews and observations, focus groups, questionnaires, usability tests, heuristic evaluations, cognitive and visual walkthroughs, feedback, maintenance, and market data. UX is often defined and measured by creating guiding UX targets.
Why is UX important?
Good UX simplifies user's lifes by supporting their tasks, giving them feedback of what is going on, leaves them more time to do other things, brings them joy and satisfaction, accommodates disabilities, prevents errors and makes them easy to correct, and is usually a big factor in making a product desirable in a market.
Good UX may also save lives (FDA guidelines). I just read about a heart monitor that had a switch that turned all alarms permanently off. For some reason the switch was in turned off position when it was attached to a new patient. There was nothing that would alert the nurse about the missing alarms. The patient died.