The Characteristics & Principles of User Experience

Design is iterative, right? While creating part two of the two-part “characteristics” diagram (part one: The Essential Characteristics of User Experience), I realized that it was actually a three-part diagram and that what I had created first, was actually last! So now it reads:

  1. An introduction of “characteristics” and “principles”. (pdf | jpg)
  2. The characteristics. (pdf | jpg)
  3. The principles – formerly part one, “essential characteristics”. (pdf | jpg)

My thanks to Rob Weening, one of my colleagues at work, for helping me see this “re-frame”.  His flash of inspiration was that the characteristics are the building blocks of an experience (the “what”) and principles are how an experience is put together (the “how”).  The dodgy DNA analogy in the diagrams, however, is all my fault.

cpsumcharsumprinsum

P.S.  Dave reminded me with his comment that the ten characteristics are almost certainly not an exhaustive list, they’re just a start.

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5 Responses to “The Characteristics & Principles of User Experience”


  1. 1 Dave Malouf July 22, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    As someone who harshed on Mr. Dalton last time, I gotta say that this really came together.

    My only comment would be that your qualities stack (base chemicals) dichotomies is a framework, but not a complete list. I think there are many more that could be added. I LOVE the addition of impartiality. It really through me (like WTF!?!) but then as a dichotomy for UX I loved it!

    To me that 1st stack is the key for critique. I think the 2nd pyramid is nice, but less interesting to me from the part of view of critique. It also feels more static and less extensible.

    But in all, I think this is GREAT!!!! Kudos!

  2. 2 Richard July 22, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks Dave, I 100% agree with you – and I meant (but forgot) to say it in the post and diagram – the characteristics I listed are just a start, i’m sure there are many more that could be added.

  3. 3 Jody July 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    Very cool. I would argue that Google Search might be ‘passively’ social/interactive, as they track and collect clicks which in-turn may influence page rankings for others.

    Also, if you have a Google account you can promote, comment, and delete some search results. You can also see what others think of certain pages/sites. More: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/searchwiki-make-search-your-own.html

    But I understand your challenge in finding a example site that *isn’t sociable. ;)

  4. 4 Indi Young July 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Good start! :) Is it possible to present non-web examples, as well?


  1. 1 Experiencia de Usuario y Usabilidad. Marcando la diferencia entre conceptos. | Weblog de Sergio Ortega Trackback on January 25, 2010 at 3:14 am

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