I'm Michael Suodenjoki - a software engineer living in Kgs. Lyngby, north of Copenhagen, Denmark. This is my personal site containing my blog, photos, articles and main interests.

Updated 2011.01.23 15:37 +0100


What is UX improvements anyway?

So what is it that makes one user experience (UX) capable of solving the same tasks as another UX better?

For example; most of us know about using the Windows Explorer in our everyday lives. But what if there were something better? Which could offer to solve the same everyday "file" tasks as Explorer but with less mouse movements, less clicks or less keyboard activity - or even better - could switch fast between the files and folders you're working with? Wouldn't that be a better experience? You could do your job faster?

Maybe - I haven't examined it myself (yet), but maybe you should look at Xplorer2.

Come to think about whether the folder hierarchy approach in the file system really is as good as we think? See e.g. Improving the Usability of the Hierarchical File System (PDF link) or even Microsoft's own (earlier?) approach with WinFS.

If anybody have some stories or links to good (preferably scientifically based) articles about what makes one UX better than another, I would like to know.

My guess is that UX improvements lies in minimizing communication - like the famous most shortest correspondence - you known the letter from Victor Hugo to his publisher with the single "?" in the content? And the just as simple response letter with "!". (see also)

If you were the user "asking" (with minimal activity) and the computer just instantly knew what you're asking or what you want - maybe even before you yourself know it! -  and then did it. That would make a good user experience, right?

On the other hand that would require substantial knowledge by the computer of you. Scary!

Hmm, that reminds me of service - you know like in customer service ... but that's another story.

Update May 15th, 2007: Five more Windows Explorer replacements.