I am a PhD student in computer science, writing a paper on Mobile User Experience. I need to cite a definition for UX. I have found numerous web-sites and and videos with various UX definitions.

However I am having a hard time finding a scholarly paper from a reputable journal/conference that provides a UX definition.

If you happen to know of such paper(s) I'd appreciate if you would please refer me to them.

  • You should look at the relevant ISO standards. Here's a similar question where I cited the definiton: ux.stackexchange.com/questions/106790/…
    – Michael Lai
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 0:01
  • 1
    Do you plan to make this paper public ? I think this community would really appreciate to read it :)
    – Brice
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:54
  • 1
    @Brice: Absolutely. :)
    – Behnam
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 16:59
  • Agree with @Brice.
    – NB4
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 4:42

3 Answers 3


Not sure if you count the ISO standards as a scholarly paper, but the standards are pretty high. You'll also have to check whether this definition is still current in the latest version.

ISO 9241 defines user experience as:

a person's perceptions and responses that result from the use and/or anticipated use of a product, system or service.

You might also be interested in Don Norman's definition of User Experience:

"User experience" encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services, and its products.

  • Great. Surely I will cite that. Do you also happen to know of definitions in mobile domain? (Like the ones that define UX as overall sum of responsiveness, findability, discoverabilty, etc)
    – Behnam
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 0:05
  • 1
    Behnam are you able to cite those mobile-domain definitions that define it as overall sum of responsiveness, findability, etc? It seems so specific that I have to I wonder if you haven't already encountered this definition you're looking for somewhere before.
    – Luke Smith
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 11:22

You can look for the historical perspective on conference proceedings, such as:

Towards a shared definition of user experience. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008, . pp. 2395-2398

Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: a survey approach. In: INTERACT 2009: Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2009 pp 922-923

From printed books I would consider citing the foundational book by Garrett, which contributed to define the field, despite the non-academical tone of voice:

Garrett, J.J. The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond. Second edition (p6)

User experience is about how [a product or service] works on the outside, where a person comes into contact with it. When someone asks you what it’s like to use a product or service, they’re asking about the user experience.


You can try this link.

Apart from that there few research papers http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01449290500330331



Hope this helps!! All the best.

  • Can you share the relevant definitions in your answer? Those links may disappear in the future.
    – Midas
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 23:28

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