Less is more or the more the better? Measuring Experience Economy

(submitting to Science)

Hokyoung Ryu, Jieun Kim


Descriptions: Establishing whether a product or service meets its usability and other conflicting goals (e.g., security) at the same time asks trade-offs and this is quite challenging. For instance, online banking systems have tried to remove user concerns about their security, incessantly proposing new authentication techniques; but still the most popular solution is text-based, using multiple passwords. However, the security advantage by this approach can be undermined when it requires excessive recall of the many passwords that are difficult to memorise, which often leads to poor usability and/or compromises in security.

The concept of ‘usable experience’ is thus how we might retain the usability of any systems, while not diminishing the levels of other qualities of the systems.

Our study addressed this trade-off problem by juxtaposing the two conflicting design decisions, along with a new decision science framework, ‘Prospect’ theory. Three user tests found that users compromised security in favour of usability, implying that design decisions related to security should be evaluated jointly with an exploration of their impact on usability, since a secure authentication system without adequate usability fails to meet its primary purpose.

Further, prospect theory offers a methodology for evaluating user experience in conjunction with a 'reference dependent expected utility hypothesis', in particular, when people have prior experience. By this we could show that, once a new design feature is introduced, users would derive a new learning process for determining the benefits of the new feature in light of their reference point set out by their prior experience. This magnifies the importance of understanding user experience in each design dimension and a novel way of experience design to take them together as prospect of user experience.   

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