While using the internet, everyone has an experience, be it good or bad. Our experiences are not purely physical; our reactions are not limited to the movements across the keyboard or our visual interpretation of the material. We have a strong emotional response to the way we use and see things on the internet.
The way we use a website is user experience, and the things we see is user interface. User experience is all about how a user interacts with and experiences, in this case, a service. It includes the perception of utility, ease of use, and efficiency. User interface is all about human-computer interaction and communication. User interfaces enable users to control the computer effectively they are interacting with. A successful UI is intuitive, efficient, and user-friendly.
We can analyze our emotional reactions to the design of a site by using a simple sentence structure. “The website makes me FEEL __________ because my NEED for ________ was OR was not being met.” We can construct these sentences by thinking of how things make us feel and our common human needs. Using those words, we can describe our reactions and experiences on a website. It also shines a light on what works and doesn’t for websites that you frequent. It also answers questions that others have about why you might frequent certain sites. For example, if someone asks you, “Why do you like Amazon?” instead of responding with “Delivery is fast,” you will have a more in depth response.
To understand this concept in more detail, I compared my feelings around using the Elf Cosmetics website to those when I use Colourpop‘s website. Both sites are makeup brands, and they sell a variety of products, some products overlap. I use Elf Cosmetics primarily for my purchasing habits, and I use Colourpop for my creative practices. I’ve used other makeup sites besides these, but I always find myself returning to these two. The one I always go back to is Elf Cosmetics because of the ease of use. The lack of relief while using Colourpop deters me from using it.
I was curious as to why I found Colourpop challenging to use. Why am I going to Elf Cosmetics instead of Colourpop when they have similar aesthetics. Through careful analysis of my FEELINGS and NEEDS when using Elf Cosmetics and Colourpop, I found that the user experience is why I prefer one over the other. I like Colourpop’s user interface, but Elf Cosmetics’s user experience was more enjoyable. The extended website analysis is below. I identify ten feelings and needs in response to Elf Cosmetics’ use, and I compare it to the ten feelings and needs I experience with Colourpop. There were some similarities between the two sites, but I have a more enjoyable experience than the other.
The results are clear, the user experience design of Elf Cosmetics does a better job of meeting my needs than the design for Colourpop. However, my more creative needs are met by Colourpop’s user interface, but not Elf. Both sites have positive and negative experiences; they need to take pieces from one another to become unstoppable.