In Brief

Having access to data any time or place has great advantages. Now designers must figure out how to make this a pleasant reality.

Scott Jenson wrote a recent article in UX (User Experience) Magazine titled “The UX Of Data.” In it, he talks about the role new technologies will play in the way we engage with our digital devices.

Scott starts by breaking down what he calls the three layers of user experience: presentation, task and infrastructure.

Presentation is the visual layer, from graphics and icons to color. Task is about actions and how the application works and flows. Infrastructure is the underlying technology being used. Is the application on a desktop or mobile? Is it WiFi or 3G? He makes the case that the more profound impacts in user experience come from innovations at the infrastructure level.

Cloud computing, although around for a while, is starting to go mainstream. Email isn’t hosted on a machine, but accessed by a browser. And that browser is becoming more mobile and ever-present. Documents are no longer being stored locally and edited by one author, but (thanks to applications like Google docs) accessible anywhere and by anybody. This is causing a fundamental shift in the way we think about and interact with our data.

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