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The UX Honeycomb

The UX Honeycomb is a visualization tool created by Peter Morville back in 2004. This tool is now well-established and extremely popular and outlines the seven essential aspects of the user experience. Since its creation, it’s been argued over,

it has featured in numerous books and articles, it's been translated and canonized, it’s a great starting point for everyone involved in creating innovative products and services for humans. The UX Honeycomb t is typically used as a teaching tool, to explain the basics of UX, but it can also be used as a checklist for designers.


As with most theoretical diagrams, it's typically used as a teaching tool to help students and new practitioners get to grips with the basics of UX, although it also works well as a checklist for designers and content creators. Here is the original diagram:

Peter Morville’s UX Honeycomb


Analyzing a Site With the UX Honeycomb

The 7 factors from the UX Honeycomb can be used to analyze a site’s UX. Here’s how:

  • Useful – What if you create a product that has no use in real life? No one will ever use it, right? Try solving real-life problems to fulfill the needs of your users. Don’t make a copy of something that already exists!

  • Credible – To make your site credible, you will need to provide a consistent and coherent service that your audience can trust. Let’s use a burger shop as an example. If your customer comes in and orders the same burger, but it tastes different every time, they will lose trust in you. You need to ensure they get the same tasty burger every time.

  • Desirable – Your product, system, or service must be desirable to your users. While developing a product, you must think about your users’ emotions. How are they going to be attracted to the product?

  • Usable – Imagine if you went to an eCommerce site and it forced you to go through a load of unnecessary steps such as filling out laborious forms and creating your own account. Would you use it again? Users demand simplicity, why not give that to them?

  • Findable – Imagine you have a burger shop (again) and customers love your burgers. However, they can’t find your burger shop because it moves around every day, is closed randomly, and has a different name each time. Making it harder for your customers to find you will, in fact, lose potential business.

  • Accessible – Better experience means better access, and obviously access for everyone. The content on your site needs to be accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities.

  • Valuable – Your product, system, or service must create value for the user. Think about your usual day, and items you use daily, all those items have value. A user would not use your product if they did not find any value in it.


Optimizing the UX honeycomb

In 2018, Katerina Karagianni optimized the UX honeycomb diagram. Although it covered all facets of UX, there seemed to be no connection between the 7 elements.



Katerina Karagianni’s optimized UX Honeycomb




How Was the UX Honeycomb Improved?

Katerina Karagianni grouped the 7 facets based on how the user interacts with a product (use, think, feel). She then re-arranged them within the honeycomb so that the relationship between the factors is highlighted, and added color coding and labels to make the groupings clear.



Conclusion

We don’t all have to be UX experts. However, it’s important that we keep focusing on the bigger picture, even when we’re developing small features or fixing bugs. By keeping these seven key aspects in mind during development, and communicating them to our teams, we can ensure we’re doing our best for our end users.










Photo by Donny Jiang on Unsplash