In search of theoretical foundations for UX research and practice

Marianna Obrist, V Roto, A Vermeeren, K Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, ELC Law, K Kuutti
in Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, Conference paper (text)


In this paper we point out the relevance of and the need for a theoretical discussion around UX research and practice. Although there is a good coverage of methodological and design related topics in the HCI literature, there is still a lack of theoretical focus in the rapidly increasing work on user experience (UX). We analyzed 122 individual items on theories collected in a CHI'11 special interest group session on UX theories and theoretical frameworks. The data set was filtered and categorized in several iterations, resulting in 56 items distributed over 7 major theory categories and related to 9 relevant disciplines. The categories are an initial mapping of the field and point towards the directions for further conceptual and theoretical clarification. Our results help to explore the multi-disciplinary nature of UX and to build a more solid foundation for UX research and practice.