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UX Debt: Developers Borrow While Users Pay

by   Sebastian Baltes, et al.

Technical debt has become a well-known metaphor among software professionals, visualizing how shortcuts taken during development can accumulate and become a burden for software projects. In the traditional notion of technical debt, software developers borrow from the maintainability and extensibility of a software system, thus they are the ones paying the interest. User experience (UX) debt, on the other hand, focuses on shortcuts taken to speed up development at the expense of subpar usability, thus mainly borrowing from users' efficiency. With this article, we want to build awareness for this often-overlooked form of technical debt by outlining classes of UX debts that we observed in practice and by pointing to the lack of research and tool support targeting UX debt in general.


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