I’ve been asked a few times recently, “So what exactly is user experience?”
It’s a good question, but there’s a problem with it. The word ‘exactly’. Trying to define user experience exactly is like trying to nail jelly to a wall.
I think they did a pretty good job, but a lot of people involved in user experience will be looking at it and thinking ‘Looks pretty, but where do I fit in here’. And that includes those with such titles and fields as Service Design, Content Strategy, UX Strategy and others.
The criticism won’t stop there. Others will complain that there’s no intersection between certain disciplines like HCI and Computer Science, or that the size of circle for their field is disproportionate in it’s importance or in relation to others, like Writing (content and micro-copy).
And that’s the problem – this infographic is not meant to define relationships between all these disciplines. It can’t, because there is no rigorous definition of the terms. Interaction design is not 37.34% user interface design according to some role-based equivalence of the SI standards. There’s so much that affects a person’s view of these disciplines, and it varies from person to person, project to project, org to org.
There is no way this chart could be fixed and keep everyone happy, and certainly not have it remaining accessible.
So this chart does not, and cannot answer the question “So what exactly is user experience?”, especially as asked by someone already in the field.
No – what I like about this graphic is that it answers the question “So what is user experience”, as asked by someone seeking understanding and who does not already have an opinion, and in that context, I think this visualization is (almost) perfect.