Quality of Experience (QoE or QoX)

Quality of Experience (QoE or QoX) is a measure of the overall level of customer satisfaction with a vendor. QoE is related to but differs from Quality of Service(QoS), which embodies the notion that hardware and software characteristics can be measured, improved and perhaps guaranteed... (Continued)

Quality of Experience (QoE or QoX) is a measure of the overall level of customer satisfaction with a vendor. QoE is related to but differs from Quality of Service(QoS), which embodies the notion that hardware and software characteristics can be measured, improved and perhaps guaranteed. In contrast, QoE expresses user satisfaction both objectively and subjectively. The QoE paradigm can be applied to any consumer-related business or service. It is often used in information technology (IT) and consumer electronics.

To some extent, QoE is user-dependent because some customers are easier to please than others. The best QoE evaluations are obtained by polling or sampling a large number of subscribers. Major factors that affect QoE include cost, reliability, efficiency, privacy, security, interface user-friendliness and user confidence. Environmental variables that can influence QoE include the user's terminal hardware (for example, hard-wired or cordless telephone set), the working environment (for example, fixed or mobile) and the importance of the application (for example, casual texting versus critical videoconference communications).

QoE, while not always numerically quantifiable, is the most significant single factor in a real-world evaluation of the user experience. It is in the best interest of any enterprise to maximize its user QoE. One might draw an analogy: While the quality of medical care can be evaluated in many ways, the most meaningful results are how how long the patients live (numerically quantifiable) and how well they feel (not quantifiable). Such factors, however broadly defined, have a profound effect on the long-term success of an enterprise.

This was first published in April 2008

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