Articulating the role of User Experience for Ecommerce versus application product development

2 May 2011 - 7:41pm
5 years ago
2 replies
2402 reads
Michelle Bacigalupi

Hello Community,

Recently I've been asked to explain and identify the differences-complementary roles-user experience plays for Ecommerce web sites and applications. My initial thoughts are that the end user mental models, definition of success, as well as customer 'needs' are very different. The Ecommerce site has to design for engagement based on information foraging and trip the switch from collecting information to conversion. While the application has to target  specific tasks (the now customer) needed to be accomplish as well as potientially anticipating ones not considered. Also, while there may be a couple / few visits to the Ecommerce site - there are inherently multiple visits to the product. There require different design approaches and design thinking.

Any one with thoughts and pointers to writings on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!



4 May 2011 - 12:46am

Hi Michelle

I don't have many written resources to offer but I do have a lot of experience in expereince design and e-commerce maybe my thoughts might help.

I think inherently the deisgn approaches are different from the UX role to the product development role. By product development I'm making the assumption you are referring to the application development. However, ultimately the definition of success should be the same - makes something that works and sells products. Ultimately it's the job of the UX role to create that experience, define those interactions and consider the conversion points but it's the develpers job to create the code to build out the experience. 

Sometimes I find the industry of web design to be abstract and unique as a trade but if using the analogy of building a house and comparing the role of the architect and the construction worker might help to frame your discussion. Ultimately the goals for these roles are the same - to build a home that works for all intents and purposes and withstands the elements. The tools between the two trades differ drastically and in my opinion by extension the mental model might differ - purely on the volume that an architect might draw up variations of the same house template for say a suburb the construction worked may see only a fraction of these. However ultimately the must have mental models which have commonalities or else not much would get build. 


4 May 2011 - 6:59am

Perhaps these articles might help you ...

Walk a while in someone else's shoes - Exploring the roles of C...s:

User's goal / user's aim and the e-commerce process within the checkout process:

UX process - roles, intents, purposes and the integration within the whole development process:

I hope I could help you a little bit - I wish you success!

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