“One cannot design a user experience, only design for a user experience. In particular, one cannot design a sensual experience, but only create the design features that can evoke it.”

— Jeff Johnson, Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department of the University of San Francisco

Why recording the user experience important?
Data-Driven Urban Design, Jeroen van Ameijde_https://spool.ac/public/journals/1/submission_184_168_coverImage_en_US.jpg

User Experience Design.

This is the process undertaken by design teams to create the building and experience with emphasis on both approaches, not only building design but also the individual and shared experiences throughout a person’s interaction with the building. This ensures that in addition to the basic functionality, the experience is wholesome, efficient, and pleasant for those that interact with the building. Design, usability, and function are greatly emphasised.  Designing the user experience is done by carefully planning the entire building process and its execution. Unable to determine the response to the building, the designers, however, have full control of the product or services; therefore, designing for the experience assists the designer in anticipating the experience and simulating different scenarios to determine the best outcome through research and experimentation. Data-driven architecture leads to the creation of solid architectural elements grounded in careful research and synthesis.

A user experience designer is concerned with the entire process, from the conception of an idea to interaction with the public. This level of involvement ensures that troubleshooting is integral to the process. Therefore, problems are anticipated, and their solutions are proposed and resolved at the earliest opportunity. 

To best understand the concept, consider designing a noun and verb. The process of curating the design and service and its subsequent use is an action, therefore a verb and the final product or service a noun. 

Designing a Design.

User experience strives to make the journey pleasant and fruitful. This is done by designing for ease of use and providing solutions that suit different needs and preferences. The success and value of a design are not only the design but also a combination of its usefulness, usability, findability, credibility, desirability, accessibility, and emotional value.

What experience do we want to create?

According to Peter Morville, a pioneer in the UX field, the seven factors that describe the user experience include: Useful, Usable, Findable, Credible, Desirable, Accessible, and Valuable.

These factors can easily be overlaid in the architecture design process. Different spaces are designed for different uses; however, each space fulfils its need and purpose, and how efficient is it in the same?

Usability concerns how effectively the users can accomplish tasks in the space and how well the space is designed to facilitate the intended use. This is linked to the functionality of a space. The space may be able to fulfil the basic functions, but the question is how well it can do so for the benefit of the people. 

Design with keen attention to the findability within and without ensures that it is within reach of the intended audience and may be approached without any challenge regardless of capabilities, physical and otherwise.

Our interaction with different spaces occurs at a conscious and subconscious level. We may avoid some spaces subconsciously based on discomfort we may not be able to register consciously; this may be regarded as a failed design as the comfort of the user is not achieved. 

The image of a design and its presentation to the public is directly proportional to its desirability. Different designs evoke different feelings from the users, and through research, one can draw a consensus of styles that draw positive responses from the majority for multiple-use spaces. 

Accessibility is often overlooked in design as a cost-cutting measure, as creating an inclusive environment involves considering various aspects that cater to individuals of different capabilities. 

The product should deliver value to the users and the designers. The solution determines the value it creates from the challenge or task posed. How well it can do so determines its value to the public. 

User experience data can be acquired in one of two ways analysing what people say, which may not always be accurate, and what people do, which is rarely influenced but is the outcome of subconscious resolve. Ongoing conversations with the public offer great insight into things that work and what needs to be improved and provide a platform for people who would otherwise be underrepresented to air views and concerns before, during and after the design undertaking. 

For a better understanding of the user experience, interviews may be conducted and surveys sent out to accurately depict the people interacting with the space from different perspectives and capacities. This helps to understand better which needs have been met and which those that fall short and the reforms that can be made for a more satisfactory experience.

Usability tests of mockups may be created for testing; this is done to simulate the user experience and modify the space before the final design is set in stone, literally. 

It is difficult to define a great user experience as the same is built to serve different users with different needs and preferences, which in itself is simply impossible, however by creating a space with the basic framework that rather than be a solution helps find the solution the space can help many more users. 

Recording the experiences successfully and otherwise provides insight into the efficiency of the space and where it can be improved.

Architectural design’s tangible nature lends a certain permanence to the final product. The practice follows what is termed “waterfall management because the architectural process follows a linear process from the conceptual stage to the actualisation of the design with no opportunity to circle back; therefore, decisions made should be backed by sound data. This is due to costs and the structural elements laid out in the project’s construction.  Without careful planning and design, the resulting design may not achieve functionality, let alone a great user experience. This is where user experience design comes in through research and consultation among the intended users. The design process is optimised and streamlined to create an overall experience mentally and physically.  During construction, time is money, and the smoother the process is, the more cost-effective the design process is; therefore, anticipating some issues in advance goes a long way in ensuring a smooth construction process with as few hiccups as possible. Effectively creating and implementing a holistic approach to building design. 


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Gattupalli, A. (2022) Human-centered design: What architects can learn from UX Designers, ArchDaily. ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/989103/human-centered-design-what-architects-can-learn-from-ux-designers (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

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Najjar, R. (2020) Architecture & UX: Drawing parallels and identifying opportunities, Medium. UX Collective. Available at: https://uxdesign.cc/architecture-and-user-experience-design-drawing-parallels-and-identifying-opportunities-b30a9e6694f0 (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

User experience (2020) What is User Experience? | Definition and Overview. Available at: https://www.productplan.com/glossary/user-experience/ (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

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What is user experience (UX) design? (no date) The Interaction Design Foundation. The Interaction Design Foundation. Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/ux-design (Accessed: January 28, 2023). 

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An avid reader with an interest in social justice and architecture. Having grown up with an interest in art, she expressed herself through drawings and paintings and later architecture as an additional medium of expression. She believes architecture can aid is solving multiple social issues through careful planning and design.