Dr. Delminquoe L Cunningham

Dr. Delminquoe L Cunningham

As a User Experience professional, I am often asked to describe my deliverables and processes and I find myself thinking about how I can strip away much of the confusion that surrounds UX and UI. I believe that these two domains are co-dependent and symbiotic of each other. Their relationship reminds me of orchids in the wild. While some orchids can be parasitic many are “epiphytes” which translates to “on top of plant” In this analogy UI is the orchid to the strength and structure of UX. To take this concept even farther we look to UC research being the soil that helps the tree of UX grow.

So my question to UX researcher, in general, is how we can cultivate a rich understanding of the user, product, and even company ecosystem? Many times changes to a company website, products or services are changed to match a trend but, maybe not the customers' needs. So if you are looking to engage in UX ask yourself some important questions.

1.      What problem are we trying to solve? While this seems like a no-brainer, many times could not be the driving force to engage in UX/UI changes. Products that become nothing more than a product log of features are usually always stuck in the next innovation phase of things. Yet never meeting a specific need. Development should never be because we can mindset, or well they have it so should we.

2.      What are your customer’s needs? Doing proper research to user needs and wants help to eliminate must have features from like to have features. I honestly do not know why it takes almost 3-page scrolls to see weather information on the weather channel app, I just want weather!!!

3.      What can we measure? In the end, the best UX research and implemented UI design mean nothing if you cannot look at quantifiable data to know your improvement or maybe even failure. Listen to your customers get that feedback from several measurable dimensions to know they changes you have made are even reaching the intended audience.

While the questions posed here are not the only things to look for and reference but, they are a good starting point for many of the activities that might drive UX and eventually UI design. Always remember that proper documentation and planning are also key to accountability and transparency. Keeping projects on schedule and clients and stakeholders happy can sometimes feel like you’re the ringmaster of a circus. But remember people's experience cannot merely be defined product features. Until next time happy UXin

Dr. Delminquoe L Cunningham

Tesla continues to be a company that excites and surprises the status quo, but I am sure Mr. Negri is hoping the user experience of Tesla continues to evolve. Overall the user experience that is attached to Tesla is that of a very forward thinking consumer that is also techno-savvy and environmentally conscience. This high-end experience is something to truly behold from the gigantic interior spaces to the iconic giant touch-screen interface tucked into the dash. Unfortunately for one Tesla owner, the user experience was less than stellar.  Ryan Negri, an angel investor in the US, went for a drive in Red Rock Canyon at the weekend to take some pictures of the newly fallen snow. Unfortunately, as Tesla models require a network connection to unlock using a smartphone, Mr Negri and his wife were locked out of the car. His wife Amy ran two miles to find signal and managed to call a friend to pick her up to retrieve the keys from home, as spotted by

Tesla should have taken into consideration many users would assume that they are connecting to a potential in-car hotspot for the app to car interaction. This oversite while a bit comical with a happy ending for Mr. Negri, could have been a larger issue in the context of other circumstances. Technology in many ways is advancing quicker than we can understand how to use it. Hopefully, Tesla will include a nice welcome to your car video that explains the ins and outs of the app and connectivity issues early for newer drivers

I currently watch many companies hire and rehire UX Designers, not just because this is a hot bed field currently, the real reason is these companies like some other parts of the industry do not fully understand what User Experience design is. Being able to be a graphic designer that understands Web 2.0 tech does not make one a UX and UI Designer. The true distinction for me comes in the fact of being able to not only understand the design elements of user experience and interface but also researching the relevant data needed to make assumptions about the users; needs wants and desires. This delicate balance of design and research is where UX and UI design, share similarities and also diverge from each other. As a UI and UX Architect, I use my design and research background to help individuals and companies take the quantifiable data and create a visual experience to meticulously enhance their mission of user engagement.