from the introduction of “Making the Web Work”
“User interface versus user experience: The sudden and dramatic influx of graphic designers into the interactive design area has been accompanied by a host of new terms and job titles. One of the most popular is “user experience.” As I understand it, user experience encompasses every aspect of a person’s interaction with an organization– everything from the company Web site, to customer support, to shipping labels, to how the receptionist answers the phone. In other words, everything.
Unfortunately, user experience has become entangled, confused, and synonymous with the more specific term “user interface” a term that has been used in the software industry for decades. Despite its techno-babble overtone, user interface is the correct term for describing the specific layer of an interactive product where the technology and the user come together. Makign the Web Work is about user interface, not user experience.”
I find this passage interesting for a number of reasons, not the least being that often in the valley interaction designers are responsible and expected to be good at interface design. And interface designers good at interaction. And graphic designers are sometimes relegated to colorists, if they are engaged at all.
I personally do not like the term “user interface”, as it seems to me that it relegates the design to surface considerations… but I’d love to hear from others on this.