Cross channel user experience (UX) design, that sounds like a mouthful and for those technically savvy amongst us, then you will know that actually this is a core element of all design that needs to be considered in the demanding technical environments on the twenty first century. By cross channel we simplify and state that this is about making the design work on various channels or devices, this is designed to accelerate usability and ensure that the end product be that design or software is truly useful.
Maybe it is worth referring back to the source of the term “User Experience Design”. The term was coined by Don Norman while he was then the Vice President of the Advanced Technology Group at Apple. An industry iconic brand, it is not surprising that this human technical phrase stemmed from within those ranks. Don Norman stated then; “I invented the term because I thought human interface and usability were too narrow. I wanted to cover all aspects of the person’s experience with the system including industrial design, graphics, the interface, the physical interaction, and the manual. Since then the term has spread widely, so much so that it is starting to lose its meaning… user experience, human centered design, usability; all those things, even affordances. They just sort of entered the vocabulary and no longer have any special meaning. People use them often without having any idea why, what the word means, its origin, history, or what it’s about.”
Great point Don and some clarity is necessary beyond even the creators explanation. User experience in a mouthful so the industry has abbreviated this to UX Design so moving forwards, we’ll use that acronym as well. UX is all about the end use; it is intentionally designed to focus more on the human side of the interaction between man and machine. This transcends simple areas such as mere usability and looks at how effective it makes us and how useful the results are.
In our modern world we truly live in a hyper fast paced, twenty four seven environment and information is absolutely essential as it is everywhere, PC to Mac to IPad to phone all flowing through the user and then back from the real world into the digital arena again. The most simple daily tasks now have us navigating almost constantly through a range of different media, computation and the physical environment need to be seamlessly connected now more than ever before.
Usability needs to be the focus for anyone working digitally and for a user-centric designer then UX and most importantly cross channel UX needs to be a primary concern. Cross channel UX design when done correctly makes a site easy to use and beneficial to users so think about that area when working on your next project and ensure you work with a team who really understand this to ensure that your project is a success and who apply it for you, it will make a huge difference.