Users' Personal Conceptions of Usability and User Experience of Electronic and Software Products

Tim R. Haaksma, Menno D.T. de Jong (Corresponding Author), Joyce Karreman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
376 Downloads (Pure)


Research problem: Despite the abundance of research into usability and user experience (UX), there is still debate about the relationship between both concepts. The user perspective is underrepresented in all discussions. This study examines the personal conceptions that users of electronic and software products have of usability and UX.

Research questions: 1. How do users of electronic and software products conceptualize usability and UX. 2. What do they think is the relationship between both concepts.

Literature review: We review the literature on conceptualizations of usability and UX and their relationship. The literature suggests that both concepts are still developing and that there are different views about their relationship. A personal-constructs research approach appears to be a fruitful way of shedding more light on this.

Methodology: Twenty-one participants were asked to place up to eight products in a grid with two axes: usability (high-low) and UX (high-low). They then filled out a short questionnaire about the products. Finally, interviews were held about their decisions and their views on usability and UX.

Results and conclusions: A weak positive correlation between products' usability and UX scores indicates that the relationship between both concepts is far from straightforward. An analysis of the four quadrants of the grid provides a first typology of products based on how users perceive their usability and UX. When reflecting on the relationship between the two concepts, most participants see usability as a part of or contributing to UX. Based on our findings, however, it seems risky to assume that usability is sufficiently covered by the overall concept of UX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-132
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE transactions on professional communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • Electronic products
  • Focusing
  • ISO
  • ISO Standards
  • Personal constructs
  • Professional communication
  • Software
  • Task analysis
  • Usability
  • User experience
  • UX
  • 2023 OA procedure


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