In my last post, I talked a bit about Experience Design. My goal with that post wasn’t to say that we should swap the term “User Experience Design” for “Experience Design”. To me, as they’re practiced, they are two very different things.
Additionally, I don’t see Experience Design as a description or label for what is designed, but rather for how something is designed.
Experience Design, is a mode in which design decisions are made. To employ it, first determine the experience you want your audience to have: What do you want them to think, feel, do, etc.? Then design whatever it is your creating in such a way that the chance someone in your audience has that experience with your product/service/whatever is maximized.
There’s no real connection between Experience Design and technology. It can be applied to most, if not all mediums and domains: fashion, architecture, presentation design, environmental design, and on and on…
I spent a good portion of my time in school studying to be a filmmaker and animator. When I turned to web design and eventually digital product design, I never lost my interest in film. I enjoy examining the filmmaking process, it’s tools and techniques in comparison to the ways we work and craft things in the digital space. As I see it, good filmmaking is a perfect example of Experience Design at work.
Last Friday, the NPR show All Things Considered aired a segment on the Dardenne brothers, French filmmakers known for their narrative style and winning a number of awards. Last year their latest film The Kid with a Bike won won the Grand Prix at Cannes.
The segment is short, but in it the Dardennes describe a bit about how they construct their stories and set up shots all in service of eliciting certain thoughts and feelings in their viewers. Give it a listen and then think about how you or your team make design decisions for any given project. What are the factors influencing those decisions? Is it about task completion? Is it about emotion, behavior, etc? A combination of both?
I plan to write and talk a lot more about film in future posts. This blog seems like as good an excuse as any to focus more of my time on that particular interest of mine. If you’re interested in the topic, and in particular its parallels to Experience Design and Interaction Design check out this video of my lightning talk at Interactions 11.