“Shedroff’s definition gets things started: “Experience design is an approach to design, and you can use that approach in pretty much any discipline—graphic design or industrial design or interaction design, or retail design. It says the dimensions of experience are wider than what those disciplines normally take into account. And if you think wider—through time, multiple senses and other dimensions—then you can create a more meaningful experience.”
And he follows it up with the 5 levels of significance:
- Function (“Does this do what I want it to do?”)
- Price (“There are lots of cars out there to get me from point A to point B”)
- Emotion (“That’s where lifestyle is engaged. How does this make me feel?”)
- Identity or Value (“This is subconscious: “Would I be caught dead with this?; am I a Nike fan, or an Adidas fan?”)
- Meaning (Not “Is this me?”, but “Does this fit my reality?” “Does this even fit inside the world as I perceive it?”)
The other difference is scope. Global corporations need detailed consumer data from dozens of cultures. In China, the coast and desert, north and south, have different cultures. In India, there are over 100 languages, dozens of castes, and major differences in religion. Companies must gather and compare huge amounts of information.
To address this issue, the Institute of Design under Patrick Whitney and Associate Professor Vijay Kumar have developed the User Insight Tool, an ethnographic methodology designed specifically for business. It relies on disposable cameras, field notebooks, and special software that teases out new understandings from consumer observations.
Allan Chochinov of Core77 asked me to remind my readers of the second Design 2.0 discussion on design strategy and innovation, which will take place next week (6 June) in San Francisco. Since Core77 has promoted Putting People First already several times, I do this with pleasure.
The event is entitled “Products and their Ecosystems: understanding the power of context in product innovation“, and features panelists Peter Rojas from Engadget, Diego Rodriguez from IDEO and MetaCool, Steve Portigal from Portigal Consulting and Robyn Waters from RW Trend, all moderated by BusinessWeek’s Jessie Scanlon.
The discussion will address how by “deliberately and strategically designing products for the context in which they live”, companies can create “more imaginative, better integrated, and ultimately more humane offerings [...] that are not only sensitive to their surroundings, but often define them”.
As always, this and other events of relevance to the themes of this blog are listed in the experience design calendar.
In short, a wealth of material to check out. Unfortunately none of them seem to have rss feeds.
“As consumers around the world pro-actively post, stream if not lead parts of their lives online, you (or your trend team) can now vicariously ‘live’ amongst them, at home, at work, out on the streets. From reading minute-by-minute online diaries or watching live webcam feeds, to diving into tens of millions of tagged pictures uploaded by Flickr-fueled members of Generation C in Mexico, Mauritius, Malaysia and dozens of other countries.”
“As usual, when you read about a shortcut to actual research written by someone who really has no clue about doing real research, they omit the valuable part – asking questions. Asking why! What is the meaning of the clothing you wear? Tell me a story about why you’ve got those items in your fridge?
It takes skill to unearth the insights – you can’t start and finish with self-reported data. Otherwise, you’re just a step above a mood board or something artifact-based. Insights come from people – from interacting with people, dynamically. Not simply observing their shit.”
- Creative CanUX in Banff in September
- About, With, and For (AWF) in Chicago in October
- Designing for User eXperience (DUX) in San Francisco in November
- Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) in Seattle in November
I just read all of Steve’s impressions, and aside from giving you a close insight on what went on at these conferences, his comments also teach you a thing or two about what makes a good conference to begin with. I cannot fail to conclude that conferences themselves need their own experience designers.
Steve Portigal and Niti Bhan write about what you need to consider when bringing on strategic design services and hiring a design firm and focus on three key issues: The Problem (defining your needs), the People (who the players are), and the Partnership (the nature of the engagement).
Design firms are businesses, but with unique perspectives and unique work processes. Understanding a bit of the industry culture will go a long way in helping you to establish a successful engagement.
The three-day conference has one day of tutorials (featuring Marc Rettig, Steve Portigal, Shelley Evenson and others) and two days of presentations.