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A performative perspective on UX

Abstract

As increasingly more interactions occur in public or social settings, the concept of interaction as a “performance” provides a compelling perspective when evaluating user experience (UX). Building on dramaturgical/performative metaphors and phenomenological theory, this paper presents a performative perspective on UX that focuses on mobile or public interactions. Based on concepts from phenomenology, this approach emphasises the importance of subjective individual experiences as the natural focus of analysis. Self-reported subjective experiences can be organized and analysed using dramaturgical metaphors, where interaction can be understood in terms of characters, props and stages. This paper distils these foundations into key concepts and discusses the implications of adopting this perspective in practice. Thus, this performative perspective on UX combines theory and metaphors to guide the evaluation and analysis of UX in mobile or public settings.