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User Experience

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From a design and development standpoint, user experience is the applied practice of making technology accessible. From an end-user's standpoint, user experience determines how well elements such as layout, graphics, feature hierarchy and navigation combine to make a technology usable and painless.

As with any design practice applied to technology, user experience is a blend of both science and art. While drawing on scientific principles from the fields of cognitive psychology and human computer interaction, the creation of a positive user experiences requires both empathy and aesthetic sensibilities.

As technology becomes increasingly complex, so does the application of good user experience practices become more vital. Apple's continued success in the marketplace serves as an example that success need not hinge on superior hardware, but on the ability to imbue complex technologies with positive, personally rewarding user experiences.

User experience is also a major factor in the blogging and social media spheres: as the quantity, variety and interconnectedness of information increases, so does the importance of good user experience design in making said information more easily accessible. As information sharing becomes increasingly commoditized, the user experience of an online service can become its key differentiator.

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