Design of experience

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VGTU

Faculty of mechanics

Design of experience

Written by Benas Rimša PIVm-3

VILNIUS 2004

First of all I would like to define what the experience design is.
According American institute of graphic art (AIGA) experience design should
be formulated or defined like this:

• A different approach to design that has wider boundaries than

traditional design and that strives for creating experiences beyond

just products or services

• The view of a product or service from the entire lifecycle with a

customer, from before they perceive the need to when they discard it

• Creating a reelationship with individuals, not targeting a mass market

• Concerned with invoking and creating an environment that connects on

an emotional or value level to the customer

• Built upon both traditional design disciplines in the creation of

products, services, as well as environments in a variety of

disciplines[2].

Elements of Experience Design

While everything is, technically, an experience of some sort, there is
something special to many experiences that make them worth discussing. In
particular, the elements that contribute to superior experiences are
knowable and reproducible, which makes them designable. The cconcept to
grasp is that all experiences are important and that we can learn from them
whether they are traditional, physical, offline experiences or whether they
are digital, online, or other technological experiences. In fact, we know a
great deal about experiences and their c

creation through these other,
established disciplines that can-and must-be used to develop new solutions.
These aren’t always obvious and, surely, they aren’t fool-proof, but it’s
important to realize that great experiences can be deliberate and based
upon some principles that have been proven.

Designing the Total Experience

It’s not necessary for every experience to address all possible
criteria, but it is important to build an experience that is well-rounded
and successful for the majority of its audience or participants. Experience
Design isn’t so much a discipline as it is an approach that is applicable
to many disciplines. For sure, however, it isn’t something that happens
accidentally, and absolutely requires not only thought but work.

Experiences are one of the most valuable memories we have and one of
the things most people spend the mmost amount of time and money on.
Successful experiences are valuable both financially and emotionally and
the more we learn about how to create them (whether through approach,
process, understanding, or specific criteria), the better the experiences
we can create and the more enriching our lives can become [1].

Framework

One of the most important ways to define an experience is to search
its boundaries. While many experiences are ongoing, sometimes even
indefinitely, most have edges that define their start, middle, and end.
Much like a story (a special a

and important type of experience), these
boundaries help us differentiate meaning, pacing, and completion. Whether
it is due to attention span, energy, or emotion, most people cannot
continue an experience indefinitely; they will grow tired, confused, or
distracted if an experience, however consistent, doesn’t conclude.

At the very least, think of an experience as requiring an attraction,
an engagement, and a conclusion. The attraction is necessary to initiate
the experience, though this need not be synonymous with distraction. An
attraction can be cognitive, visual, auditory, or it can signal any of our
senses. For example, the attraction to fill-out your taxes is based on need
and not a flashy introduction. However, there still needs to be cues as to
where and how to begin the experience.
The engagement is the experience itself. It needs to be sufficiently
different than the surrounding environment of the experience to hold the
attention of the experiences as well as cognitively important or relevant
enough for someone to continue the experience.

The conclusion can come in many ways, but it must provide some sort of
resolution, whether through meaning or story or context or activity to make
an otherwise enjoyable experience satisfactory. Often an experience that is
engaging has no real end, leaving participants dissatisfied or even
confused about the experience, emotions, or ideas, they ju
ust felt.
Most technological experiences-including digital and, especially, online
experiences-have paled in comparison to real-world experiences and they
have been relatively unsuccessful as a result. What these solutions require
is developers that understand what makes a good experience first, and then
to translate these principles, as well as possible, into the desired medium
without the technology dictating the form of the experience[1].

Problems solved by experience design professionals

1. Problems of organizational connection and communication

Understanding how the organization relates to its internal and
external constituents – people (employees, customers, investors, ect.) and
organizations (customers, suppliers, partners, competitors, ect.) – as well
as the technology and market environment.

This creates business value

By focusing on areas with the greatest potential, companies place
smarter bets, resulting in higher success rates, greater profit potential,
most effective use of resources, greater cost savings, wiser technology
choises.

Experience design uses this understanding to reveal business
opportunities. For example some technology, market or channel looks
interesting. How can we benefit? We have to do research and design
strategy. Than we need direction, step after that will be another research.
Understanding mismatch between company’s offerings and customer’s feedback,
expectations or behavior will ask another research.

Experience design supports an organization ability to deliver the
brand experience. For example for the brand strategy we should inform about
choices about business partnership, investment priorities, competition and
growth issues.

Experience d

design informs organizational priorities. Example:
products or services that should get more or less emphasis – it is business
strategy. Another example of business strategy is users or customers that
should receive or not receive these products; the last one is market
segments that should be pursued or ignored.

2. Solving problems of understanding people, in ways useful for business

Understanding people’s character, behavior and context – the
patterns and complexities of their daily lives.

This creates business value. The result: higher probability of
focusing on areas with greatest potential. Discover market space – unseen
opportunities (set your competition on their heels – be first to market).
For example: some project has potential, how can we maximize? We have do
research – resolve mismatch between company’s offerings and customer’s
feedback, expectations or behavior; and interaction design – exploring the
dialogue between products, people and context (physical, cultural,
historical).

3. Solving problems of deciding what to make

Conceive, envision and inform what products, services and

communications to make. This creates business value. Increased acceptance

and market penetration, increased effectiveness. You are more likely to

make things that people want, and more likely to reach the right people

with the right communication. Reduce misspent development costs by making

it right the first time.

Experience design helps companies make things right for each

platform and device. Also it helps companies ensure they make the things

for the right people. For example some device is not working, how can we

fix it? We’re doing research. Another research for maximizing potential

of potential products.

4. Solving problems of making things well

Should be skilled at making products, services and communications

useful, useable and desirable. Increased acceptance and market

penetration. Increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. Increased brand

reputation. Raise the number of repeat customers. Increased efficiency –

greater rates of return.

Plan and shape effective communication (internal an external). For

example some companies brand strategy – new brand creation and execution

(brand revitalization, brand portfolio management, brand communication).

Create content. Organize the content. For example: making

structures that underline content and functionality, making accessible

information that is high on one or more of the dimensions: volume, depth,

plasticity and complexity.

Design tools that mediate the communication between people.

Define the interaction between systems and the users of those systems.
For example: defining the behavior of artifacts, environments and systems
(i.e. products); defining the form of products as it relates to their
behavior and use; anticipating how the use will mediate human relationships
and affect human understanding.

Design all aspects of the form in detail. Make sure people can use it
– evaluate and improve ease of learning and use.

One of the most important things to us, and one of the key components
of interactivity, is the ability to create things. While we don’t all think
of ourselves as creative, in fact, we create things all of the time. Humans
are inherently creative creatures and when we have a chance to create we
feel more satisfied and valuable. Also, the products of our creation have a
great deal of value to us, at least on a personal level.

References

1. Nathan Shedroff “Experience Design”

2. AIGA design and business publication.

3. Information design edited by Robert Jacobson

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