This collection of essays defines a framework for experience design. Applied alongside component libraries and code repositories it is a basis for a systematic approach to digital product and service design.

Experience is a uniquely human condition, a mixture of cognitive processes and memory. Personality also comes into play and as such experience is a complex and unique subject that differs for every person. This complexity has led us to a place where a design discipline can grow and justify its existence due to the importance of the quality of experiences that people (customers, users or patients) can feel whilst using or interacting with ”digital” products.

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The six circles represent a way to understand how a product, software app, designed object or space really can be seen through six different aspects from an experience design perspective. The principles highlighted are those that have importance with regard to the quality of the end product – whatever it may be.

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Here persuasion is explored in terms of design principles that influence people and factors of motivation - competition, cooperation and recognition. These characteristics also give products that are connected (from social networks to mobile applications) the power to persuade.

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  • Entry Point

  • Picture Superiority Effect

  • Story Telling

  • Framing

  • Influence


An appreciation of why we behave in the ways we do is integral to designing a good experience. Regardless of what you think about user experience design, as designers we need to pay more attention to how and why we behave like we do . These principles derive from observations and disciplines beyond design. Psychology and sociology are as important within this list, which of course is not exhaustive.

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  • Cognitive Dissonance

  • Expectation Effect

  • Hicks Law

  • Hierarchy of Needs

  • Immersion

  • Mental Model

  • Performance vs Preference

  • Recognition over Recall


Visual design is perhaps the most immediately emotive ingredient to a user’s experience. Seeing is believing, and what our eyes see immediately tells us if we either like or dislike what they are receiving. It has a sway on the other 5 elements of the UX framework by being very tangible and creating an instant feeling in a person. As UX designers we need to be aware of the importance of visual design as a doorway to incorporate the other equally important facets in our work. Visual design, like it or not, is still king the first few seconds that a user interacts with a product or service.

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  • Aesthetic Usability

  • Alignment

  • Colour

  • Consistency

  • Golden Ratio

  • Highlighting and Legibility

  • Modularity

  • Occam’s Razor

  • Proximity and Similarity

  • Symmetry

To some, usability is a de facto standard of good design, but sadly much of what is produced fails in this area, and not just in digital design. Products, buildings, vehicles and urban planning often lack sufficient consideration of the human being.

Usability has become the easy bat to wield in the boardroom - primarily to help gain sponsorship. It is the element of UX that is easy to understand and very transparent to see. So much so, that usability and research consultancies have become widespread and are thriving - serving up endless recommendations and expert reviews to companies that feel they need to improve on their user's experience.

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  • Way Finding

  • Flexibility Usability Trade-off

  • Garbage In Garbage Out

  • Performance Load

  • Visibility

  • Layering

  • Accessibility

  • Perceptibility

  • Operability and Simplicity

  • Forgiveness


Perhaps the most well known and dominant aspect of UX, it has been described as

“the design of behavior, positioned as dialogue between a person and an artifact. A person commonly doesn’t talk to an object; they use it, touch it, manipulate it, and control it. Usage, touching, manipulation and control are all dialogical acts, unspoken but conversational.” – Jon Kolko

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  • Progressive disclosure

  • Affordance

  • Confirmation, Errors and Forgiveness

  • Fitts law

  • Constraints

  • Control

  • Cost benefit

Content is the end point and a natural place to finish because without it the experience has no reason to exist.

Here are six principles that are critically important in the design of user experiences with regard to content.

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  • 80/20

  • Chunking

  • Depth of Processing

  • Five Hat Racks

  • Hierarchy

  • Readability

As designers who cater for experiences in the UX or service design fields, the levels of understanding we need to acquire will only increase as technology will allow us to do more, with more speed and with more societal ramifications. Ensuring we factor in the design principle of forgiveness would be a good place to start in this increasingly turbulent time of technological flux.

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