Designing Experience

14Jan10

Thought provoking article from iA (creators of the webtrends maps) called “Can experience be designed”.

Some exerpts from the article I liked:

“Experience design is not a remedy that turns products into miracles that everybody likes. It will help you speaking more efficiently to your target group. To that end products needs to be simplified. The simpler the product the more character it has, the more likely it is to be rejected or accepted by a group of customers. To that end you need to know your customers and you need to test your designs with your customers.”

“You cannot control people through design, but through design you can control to whom you speak.”


Cooper in the “Inmates are running the asylum” discusses the “elastic user” and the danger of trying to design something for everyone…It just aint possible to design something good (ie useful, usable, relavent and distinct) that is appealing to everyone.

Brown in Change by Design quotes Henry Ford with saying “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have said ‘faster horses’“. Extreme users are the best ones for user research as they can yield really different insights into things. The guy with numerous chef knives, or the woman with multiple pairs of thigh high boots is going to give you valuable insight into purchasing and usage behaviour for these products.

The key is to know your user…to research and target a distinct group with distinct behaviours/needs/tastes. Getting insights from real people is key. Experience design really needs to rest on a strong foundation of customer insights yeilded by some decent user research….user research needs to be analysed and preseneted in ways that it is indeed possible to draw out some solid customer insights. Creative individuals don’t necessarily digest spreadsheets or crunch numbers very well. There are a lot of fun and creative ways to do user research that can yeild artifacts that embody customer insights AND inspire designers invoking EMPATHY for the target user group.

Anyway enough from me on this topic…. for now

🙂

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