zen of palm

17 Jul 2007 - 7:34pm
7 years ago
25 replies
780 reads
Jarod Tang
2007

http://www.access-company.com/developers/documents/docs/zenofpalm/ZenTOC.html

It's still something make sense, while some of the principles looks quite
out of date. i re-read it while designing some mobile applications for some
project, and still find the engineering side of mobile application design
behind this great article(it's there for years).

Cheers
-- Jarod

--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

Comments

19 Jul 2007 - 11:16am
andrew_hinton a...
2007

I, for one, desperately miss my Palm Vx. It was the perfect PDA. It did
everything necessary, it had old-school "Graffiti" on it,
it synced with my mac, it was small and hard to break.

Makes my Treo (bought 8 years later) look primitive in comparison. They
definitely lost the "Zen" while trying to (by necessity I guess) chase the
Windows Mobile/Blackberry feature sets. *sigh*

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

"Jarod Tang" <jarod.tang at gmail.com>
Sent by: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
07/17/2007 08:34 PM

To
"IxDA Discuss" <discuss at ixda.org>
cc

Subject
[IxDA Discuss] zen of palm

http://www.access-company.com/developers/documents/docs/zenofpalm/ZenTOC.html

It's still something make sense, while some of the principles looks quite
out of date. i re-read it while designing some mobile applications for
some
project, and still find the engineering side of mobile application design
behind this great article(it's there for years).

Cheers
-- Jarod

--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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19 Jul 2007 - 12:11pm
Thomas Vander Wal
2004

Andrew, I could not agree more! From my Palm III to even the
HandSpring Visor Deluxe, to the Tungsten E all of the Palm devices I
had were solid. They always worked and never crashed and did what they
were supposed to do.

While I like the keyboard on my Treo (when they are not broken) I miss
all the functionality I had with the past Palm devices. I am on my 4th
Treo and the quality, ability add applications that work properly, and
interaction is gone. The Treo has never had the phone part of the
device right (the audio on all 4 of my Treos have been poor) and the
OS occasionally crashes when the phone rings (seems to start about 6
months after having each Treo).

I moved from a pure Palm device to Treo when I had too many devices
and thought the Treo could work as a many in one device. Palm never
found its groove with Treo.

Having played with the iPhone a fair amount, it does not seem like an
all in one, but a phone that does many things really well with out
cutting many corners. It seems like it does most everything it has
quite well as if that were its main functionality. I am not sure I
need it, as I really do not need music and video in my smart phone,
but it is harder and harder to not seriously consider it.

I have been looking at the Nokia E61i, it does the bits I really need
really well (phone, e-mail, web, offline docs, wifi, and lite camera
(mostly for taking pictures of where I parked and other bits)).

All the best,
Thomas

On 7/19/07, andrew_hinton at vanguard.com <andrew_hinton at vanguard.com> wrote:
> I, for one, desperately miss my Palm Vx. It was the perfect PDA. It did
> everything necessary, it had old-school "Graffiti" on it,
> it synced with my mac, it was small and hard to break.
>
> Makes my Treo (bought 8 years later) look primitive in comparison. They
> definitely lost the "Zen" while trying to (by necessity I guess) chase the
> Windows Mobile/Blackberry feature sets. *sigh*
>
>
> ---
> Andrew Hinton

20 Jul 2007 - 8:17am
Alan Cooper
2004

" They definitely lost the "Zen" while trying to (by necessity I guess)
chase the Windows Mobile/Blackberry feature sets. *sigh*"

Yet another example of how features don't correlate to desirability,
IMHO.

Thanx,
Alan

__________
Cooper | design for a digital world
Alan Cooper
alan at cooper.com | www.cooper.com
__________
"Higher density housing offers an inferior lifestyle only if it is
without a community as its setting." -Andres Duany

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
andrew_hinton at vanguard.com
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2007 9:17 AM
To: Jarod Tang
Cc: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com; IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] zen of palm

I, for one, desperately miss my Palm Vx. It was the perfect PDA. It did
everything necessary, it had old-school "Graffiti" on it,
it synced with my mac, it was small and hard to break.

Makes my Treo (bought 8 years later) look primitive in comparison. They
definitely lost the "Zen" while trying to (by necessity I guess) chase
the
Windows Mobile/Blackberry feature sets. *sigh*

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

//beta.ixda.org

20 Jul 2007 - 9:44am
.pauric
2006

Alan: "Yet another example of how features don't correlate to
desirability"

Desirability or just usability?

I would have associated desirability as a precondition to a
purchasing decision.

1)Consumer sees single gadget jammed full of functions they think
they need - desires said gadget.
2)Consumer purchases gadget, they now possess what they once desired.

I agree features shouldnt correlate to desirability and as consumers
grow wise to the pitfalls of judging a product by the size of its
feature list, desirability will increasingly be made up of other
factors (usability, durability, recycle-ability, etc)

But as it stands today... its still pretty much a world of more,
faster, bigger = better, as I see it.

(unless, of course, I've completely misunderstood what you said (o;)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 10:21am
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 20, 2007, at 7:44 AM, pauric wrote:

>
> Desirability or just usability?

It is incredibly hard to sell usability as a characteristic. Any
product can say "Easy to Use" but until you get the device home and
working or the software up and running, you won't find that out for
some time. Usefulness you can market (that's what all those feature
lists are all about) but that's not overly sexy either. Thus,
desirability is what is important from a sales perspective,
especially if you are trying to gain market share or open up new
markets.

Dan

20 Jul 2007 - 11:24am
.pauric
2006

Dan, agreed, but as the queues outside the Apple boutiques
demonstrated you can create desirability without having consumers
invest time in the product . I think consumers are increasingly
relying on word of mouth, reputation based reviews as well as
manufacturer reputation to decide how desirable a product is. Thats
not to say all have changed their old ways, nor that all can afford
to pay the premium for the usability differentiator.

In the context of this thread, I feel you can create desirability
both through an expansive feature list and/or by building a
reputation for usability. The former is short-sighted/near-term
lifecycle, the latter takes a lot of cultivation.

I think Alan makes a valid point; if you're planning on cultivating
a reputation that leads to desirable products, do not correlate it
with long feature lists and expect to last.
But, you can create desirability by selling the 'best bang for
buck', if that suits your business plan of a short product cycle.
This is especially true in the commodity/disposable end of a market.

I feel this is all a little moot, simple market analysis & product
strategy, I just think there's some subtleties beyond 'features
don't correlate to desirability'

regards - pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 12:08pm
andrew_hinton a...
2007

I get the semantic argument you guys are making, but I think the point is
just that the features are things that don't add up to something you
desire once you've experienced them.

Desire isn't just initial -- if something's designed well, desire should
continue.

I've had my Treo for 6 months. I don't desire it at all now. But I still
desire my MacBook Pro. It's a pleasure.

---
Andrew Hinton
Vanguard User Experience Group
personal: inkblurt.com

Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com>
Sent by: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
07/20/2007 11:21 AM

To
IxDA Discuss <discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
cc

Subject
Re: [IxDA Discuss] zen of palm

On Jul 20, 2007, at 7:44 AM, pauric wrote:

>
> Desirability or just usability?

It is incredibly hard to sell usability as a characteristic. Any
product can say "Easy to Use" but until you get the device home and
working or the software up and running, you won't find that out for
some time. Usefulness you can market (that's what all those feature
lists are all about) but that's not overly sexy either. Thus,
desirability is what is important from a sales perspective,
especially if you are trying to gain market share or open up new
markets.

Dan

________________________________________________________________
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20 Jul 2007 - 2:15pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 20, 2007, at 10:08 AM, andrew_hinton at vanguard.com wrote:

>
> I get the semantic argument you guys are making, but I think the
> point is just that the features are things that don't add up to
> something you desire once you've experienced them.
>
> Desire isn't just initial -- if something's designed well, desire
> should continue.

To be clear: I am definitely not suggesting a list of features add up
to desirability. Features to me are commodities that over time can
(and probably will be) replicated. The connective tissue between
features (the experience design (which includes interaction design))
is what creates desirability.

Dan

20 Jul 2007 - 2:47pm
.pauric
2006

"I am definitely not suggesting a list of features add up to
desirability."

Lets say you own iPhone v1, you an I are sitting at starbucks.
Possibly even talking (o;

I happen to show you iPhone v2. It has 32 gig memory, 5 megapixel
camera. Generally the same experience, both look & cost the same,
one has more 'features'.

Do you now desire to own iPhone v2?

When products filter down to commodity, features become the
differentiator. People desire differentiators, not just experience..
or features.

When all things become equal, there is no desire - by definition,
what is left to desire? Differentiate and you create opportunity to
sell to people's desires.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 5:56pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 20, 2007, at 12:47 PM, pauric wrote:

> When products filter down to commodity, features become the
> differentiator. People desire differentiators, not just experience..
> or features.
>
> When all things become equal, there is no desire - by definition,
> what is left to desire? Differentiate and you create opportunity to
> sell to people's desires.

Ok, here's my example to you.

You and I both have MP3 players with the exact same features. Memory
et al. Mine is an iPod, yours is a Zune. Which is more desirable?

I am not arguing that people don't want features. Clearly they do.
But all things being equal (and sometimes even if they aren't), the
experience of those features and how those features connect and work
together into a holistic product or service is going to create a more
desirable product to own or use.

Another example. The Wii has half the features of the Sony PS3, but
the experience is so much more engaging (and thus desirable) that the
wii is kicking the crap out of the PS3.

"Filtering down to commodity" is a low-margin, losing game.

Dan

20 Jul 2007 - 6:21pm
Eugene Chen
2004

"When products filter down to commodity, features become the
differentiator. People desire differentiators, not just experience or
features. "

What we need to do is create a unit of measure for usability and
experience -- then we can hype it up for various products, just as
camera makers have done with mega pixels. Even movies have a rating
system.

For instance, we could create Good Experience points. Probably
wouldn't hurt to have an acronym like GX either. People would learn
not to go near a product with less than 4GX. Each generation would
push toward higher numbers that you could gloat to your friends
about. Wow! My email client is 7GX!

I'm only slightly kidding. Consumer Reports has already started
consumerize the idea of rating a product on ease of use.

It would be helpful to have an independent organization/magazine that
would go through all the high-tech products and focus exactly the pain
that you can't discover in the store--there would be different
categories for things like Out of box experience, Long-term
experience, Compatibility, How long the gee whiz factor lasts, etc.

Eugene

Eugene Chen | User Experience Research, Strategy and Design
http://www.eugenechendesign.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 7:25pm
SemanticWill
2007

Amen!

Although my bread is buttered doing IA/ID stuff - it's the totality of the
experience that overshadows feature set and even interface design every
time. Zune could have 6 times the features - but it isn't an iPod. iPod has
emotional appeal. It has cool factor. It has all these intangible
emotive-experiential "features," that will make it almost impossible to beat
- unless Zune dropped their prices by a huge factor - to like $50. Try to
explain to your 14 year old that Zune has more features - their response
will be that you are cheap!

On the same topic about the totality of experience - I love the iPhone. I've
played with it, and think the interaction design is brilliant. But - it's on
the same network as my blackberry. When I test drove the iPhone - it took 37
seconds to download Boston.com, 22 seconds to download NYTonline, and 9
seconds to download Google.com. Granted - anecdotal, not statistical study -
but the "user experience" of web browsing on it was terrible, so I am
staying with the blackberry until at&t's network improves. It's the total
emotional experience of a product, site, service.

On 7/20/07, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Jul 20, 2007, at 12:47 PM, pauric wrote:
>
> > When products filter down to commodity, features become the
> > differentiator. People desire differentiators, not just experience..
> > or features.
> >
> > When all things become equal, there is no desire - by definition,
> > what is left to desire? Differentiate and you create opportunity to
> > sell to people's desires.
>
> Ok, here's my example to you.
>
> You and I both have MP3 players with the exact same features. Memory
> et al. Mine is an iPod, yours is a Zune. Which is more desirable?
>
> I am not arguing that people don't want features. Clearly they do.
> But all things being equal (and sometimes even if they aren't), the
> experience of those features and how those features connect and work
> together into a holistic product or service is going to create a more
> desirable product to own or use.
>
> Another example. The Wii has half the features of the Sony PS3, but
> the experience is so much more engaging (and thus desirable) that the
> wii is kicking the crap out of the PS3.
>
> "Filtering down to commodity" is a low-margin, losing game.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
will evans
t: information architect
c: 617.281.1281
e: wkevans4 at gmail.com

-------------------------------------
"Findability isn't limited to content.
Nor is it limited to the Web.
Findability is about designing systems
that help people find what they need."
~ Peter Morville, The Age of Findability

20 Jul 2007 - 7:33pm
.pauric
2006

Dan, the Wii is an excellent example, and yes I'd take an ipod over a
zune (actually I opted for an
http://www.cowonamerica.com/products/iaudio/x5/ ).

"I am not arguing that people don't want features. Clearly they do.
But all things being equal (and sometimes even if they aren't), the
experience of those features and how those features connect and work
together into a holistic product or service is going to create a more
desirable product to own or use."

I couldnt agree with you more. I would say though that features
lists & the holistic experience are two sides to the same coin.

The lowend and highend iPhone have the same experience, people will
desire the added 'features' of the highend. And yes, people do
choose 20G iPods over a 30G Zune, given they research the products on
the Eugene GX scale (o;

Also, there are domains such as enterprise, military, where feature
lists have more weight than holistic experience (where the purchaser
and user are not the same) So its a big It depends can of worms.

Semantic debates seesh... like pissing in to the wind, not very
productive.

take care - pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 9:06pm
Alan Cooper
2004

Good point.

People may covet a thing because they think it will fill some need in
their lives. They purchase it only to find out that it either a) doesn't
actually fill the need, or 2) fills the need at some unreasonable cost.
In either case, to me, the thing is not truly desirable, even though
money has been spent and statistics have been counted. Back in the day,
we used to call this "Shelfware"; bought but unused.

Thanx,
Alan

__________
Cooper | design for a digital world
Alan Cooper
alan at cooper.com | www.cooper.com
__________
"Higher density housing offers an inferior lifestyle only if it is
without a community as its setting." -Andres Duany

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
pauric
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2007 7:45 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] zen of palm

Alan: "Yet another example of how features don't correlate to
desirability"

Desirability or just usability?

I would have associated desirability as a precondition to a
purchasing decision.

1)Consumer sees single gadget jammed full of functions they think
they need - desires said gadget.
2)Consumer purchases gadget, they now possess what they once desired.

I agree features shouldnt correlate to desirability and as consumers
grow wise to the pitfalls of judging a product by the size of its
feature list, desirability will increasingly be made up of other
factors (usability, durability, recycle-ability, etc)

But as it stands today... its still pretty much a world of more,
faster, bigger = better, as I see it.

(unless, of course, I've completely misunderstood what you said (o;)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Jul 2007 - 9:36pm
Dave Malouf
2005

This is the 2nd time this week where I read a thread a bit late and
think to myself a few things.
1) I love this list.
2) So much of what we do is story telling and general entertainment
3) Usability is a piece of the puzzle and nothing more
4) Don Norman in directing us to think about visceral, behavioral and
reflective emotional responses while we design products and services
is totally on the target.

Apple is a master at all of points 2-4. The story they create is just
amazing. Narratives like these should win pulitzer prizes and let
alone the 2008 IDEA award which I'm sure they'll win. (the 2007
awards were just announced and were VERY unexciting, IMHO.)

My point is that the visceral response to an iPhone begins with so
much story creation at so many different levels. Some of this story
has been 1/2 a decade in the making if not a couple of decades.
Building the cult of Mac into the 3rd largest PC producer, into the
1st largest portable media player, into the best selling phone of all
time is just the beginning.

Then there are the many mini-stories in the interface. Some of these
feed into the marketing hype machine, while others are reserved only
for those who sleep with their iPhone under their pillow (Yes, I'm
kidding). Maybe I'm drinking too much Kool Ade but this really is
the most amazing consumer electronic device I have ever owned.

It is because of the great stories, and how they got me viscerally,
kept me behaviorally and branded me reflectively.

It entices, it does, and it fits.

(Is it faulty? YES! But who cares?)

To Pauric, features are important, usability is important but they
work together and neither one trumps the other. But story? That is
what gets people to buy site unseen.

-- dave

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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21 Jul 2007 - 7:31am
.pauric
2006

David: "But story? That is what gets people to buy site unseen."

I'm all about the story, but, it can be a house of cards or have
real substance.

We make the substance. Where the story becomes the experience.

I like Dan's phrase, the experience is the membrane between the
features (I paraphrase)

While its open to semantic interpretation I like to think of Story as
front end sales, experience the post sales interactions we try to
build for. This from the perspective of an innie.

And yes, this list is fantastic, I'm the only UI person in an
organization of ~6000, the ixda list is my support group (o; And,
its a privilege to discuss topics with people like yourself, Dan,
Alan et al. I learn so much.

thank you.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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21 Jul 2007 - 7:59am
Jarod Tang
2007

Hi Pauric:

> We make the substance. Where the story becomes the experience.
>
> I like Dan's phrase, the experience is the membrane between the
> features (I paraphrase)

I guess it's more proper as the mixuer in achieving some goal, forget
feature for this; if experience is like the home you live, and feature is
the bricks or building blocks, do you even think about the bricks while you
living in your home?
Let's make it more cleare, experience is for the user and user's goal
achiving process, feature is the thing for the engineers which the user can
ignore (while he experience, he may not aware of the so called features)

Cheers
-- Jarod

--
IxD for better life style.

http://jarodtang.blogspot.com

21 Jul 2007 - 8:40am
Dave Malouf
2005

Pauric: " I'm all about the story, but, it can be a house of cards
or have real substance."

Well that's like saying there is good design and bad design. Of
course.

Pauric: "We make the substance. Where the story becomes the
experience."

In designing experiences we are writing stories. I don't see any
difference here. Imagining that experience, and executing it is the
creation of that story, that narrative. So I'm not seeing the
difference between experience and story except that I wrote the
story, the user experiences it (if they liked the back page).

Pauric: "I like Dan's phrase, the experience is the membrane
between the features (I paraphrase)"

hmm? I'm not so sure I get this. Experience is the emotional and
physical response to stimuli. Features CAN be an element of this
stimuli, but I think it is more apt to say "interface" instead of
features. Or are you using the terms interchangeably. For me they are
not synonyms. Features can have very different interfaces for
achieving them and the how is the interface and the how is what
creates the experience.

Pauric: "While its open to semantic interpretation I like to think
of Story as front end sales, experience the post sales interactions
we try to build for. This from the perspective of an innie."

I'm an innie as well. Been one for a long time. Been an outtie too
and I don't see much difference. But I don't think the story is the
sales and the experience is the post-sales. It is all experience, and
it is all stories. A good product has layers and layers of stories
(where appropriate). Some of that story comes in with the marketing,
other parts of it come in at the fine level of interface design. A
great interface is designed with stories in mind and completes its
own story as well. Experience is just the reaction of the user to the
success & failures of executing those stories. They are parallel and
non-exclusive to each other.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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21 Jul 2007 - 9:10am
SemanticWill
2007

Off Topic - but this one is active - and I have a usability problem
with IxDA --

I can't seem to find anyway to post a new thread on the discussion
forum.

>From the following pages there are no "New Post," "Create New" or
"New Topic" button or link. How does one create a new discussion???
I looked on the following pages:

IxDA > Home
IxDA > Discussion
IxDA > Topics

Are new topics not allowed? That is the only guess I can make.
Further - there is no Help > How To Post New Topic.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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21 Jul 2007 - 9:48am
David Polinchock
2005

Pauric:

When we start with our clients, the very first exercise we take them through
is to write down in 10 words or less, what their brand story is. This gets
people focused right away on the critical need to have a compelling,
authentic and relevant brand story. If it's just a house of cards, then
it's not a story. When we did our 2007 predictions of critical issues
facing brand marketers, authenticity was the number one issue that we saw.
Without authenticity, you do have that house of cards.

But for us, everything you do is part of your brand story. It's not just
what you hear before you receive the product, but how the product works,
feels, acts, how your people interact with the consumer, what happens when I
call customer service, how you market to me. Simply everything you do. The
experience of the product is a critical to the story, one can not exist
without the other -- in a great company.

One of the things that we always talk about is how the idea of experience
design has to incorporate everything about the product experience, not just
the product/UI design. Experience design should include the design of the
retail experience, the customer service experience, etc. It's a big
challenge, but we believe it's the way brands must work to be successful.

That's my little soapbox for a Saturday morning.

David
_________________________________
David B. Polinchock, CXO
Chief Experience Officer
Brand Experience Lab
voice: 212-274-1882
cell: 973-583-6746
e-mail: david at brandexperiencelab.org
Web: http://brandexperiencelab.org/BEL.html
Blog: http://blog.brandexperiencelab.org/

An innovation think tank bringing the next generation of brand experience to
life.

> From: pauric <radiorental at gmail.com>
> Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 05:31:57 -0700 (PDT)
> To: <discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com>
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] zen of palm
>
> David: "But story? That is what gets people to buy site unseen."
>
> I'm all about the story, but, it can be a house of cards or have
> real substance.
>
> We make the substance. Where the story becomes the experience.
>
> I like Dan's phrase, the experience is the membrane between the
> features (I paraphrase)
>
> While its open to semantic interpretation I like to think of Story as
> front end sales, experience the post sales interactions we try to
> build for. This from the perspective of an innie.
>
> And yes, this list is fantastic, I'm the only UI person in an
> organization of ~6000, the ixda list is my support group (o; And,
> its a privilege to discuss topics with people like yourself, Dan,
> Alan et al. I learn so much.
>
> thank you.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18334
>
>
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21 Jul 2007 - 10:50am
.pauric
2006

David: "(Create an) authentic and relevant brand story. If it's just
a house of cards, then it's not a story."

I would argue that the market place is littered with brands that have
little substance, granted those companies dont last as long as those
who do 'authenticate' the pitched story. But.. a story can be a
house of cards.

Not that Microsoft is a failing company... I feel this is an
excellent example of a branding exercise with little substance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZrr7AZ9nCY

"It's not just what you hear before you receive the product, but
how the product works, feels, acts"

I'm not suggesting a Story alone makes a great product, its needs to
be executed properly. This is where I'm suggesting the product or
brand story/mission statement needs to be backed up with all the old
skool basics: user research, prototyping, testing, etc. Otherwise:
"authenticity was the number one issue that we saw."

"Experience design should include the design of the retail
experience, the customer service experience, etc."

Apple built a prototype shop in a warehouse.
http://kottke.org/07/03/apple-store-prototypes

A branding exercise backed by design & testing.

Also, Industrial design is a major player here that I dont see
mentioned too often on the list.

Have a great weekend.

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21 Jul 2007 - 11:20am
.pauric
2006

David, excellent post, I understand your point of view. I feel our
differences are in methodology.. to that end I'm not disagreeing
with you... but (o;

"In designing experiences we are writing stories. I don't see any
difference here. Imagining that experience, and executing it is the
creation of that story, that narrative."

Now, this may be particular to my domain which is saturated with
features, half the market (low end) is commodity and there's a lot
of pressure from the PLMs & marketing for feature creep to
differentiate.

When asked to define a significant set of new functionality, as
opposed to the insertion of a simple feature. I start by trying to
rough out a story, a high level prototyping approach. How is this
going to work from a user's perspective, how is this going to
combine existing tasks in to a more cohesive story that the system
engineers & sales can pitch. No story, I dig my heels in and push
back (and invariably loose (o;) but with a valid story I can then
progress down a level to building a workable experience. Comfortable
in the knowledge that I'm building something that can be easily
presented to customers as a value add differentiator.

To use an analogy to the approach I take. The story is the few
paragraphs on the back of a book (granted they avoid spoilers... but
work with me here) and the experience is the book, cover to cover.
Chicken and egg, I approach big designs with a synopsis of how its
going to be pitched to & perceived by customers.

Caveat emptor: I'm the first to admit my domain, the computer
networking industry, does not have the most exciting user experience,
but its there and I try to design for it. I do things a certain way
and I'm happy to be corrected by people such as yourself who have
far more experience.

regards - pauric

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21 Jul 2007 - 12:21pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Will:
It is not a usability problem, it is a feature decision. Just like
the iPhone not having a clipboard in order to make what functionality
we have for release right instead of a hobgoblin of mediocre
functionality we decided FOR NOW (software can be upgraded at any
time in the future, especially with good volunteers who may or may
not step up) that people can always start a new thread using their
email client as they always could before.

That being said, we are hoping to have a "New post" link which
opens your email client for you at some point soon.

Now that being said, there are a TON of usability issues w/ the
beta.ixda.org site, so keep the bug reports coming!

-- dave

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21 Jul 2007 - 12:28pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Pauric,
The last 7 years of my design career has been spent in the enterprise
domain. Where "experience" means nothing b/c the people buying
aren't the people using. Companies like EMC, SAP, Oracle, etc. think
purely in terms of usability if they have any UCD processes at all. I
know your pain.

But where I have felt that these companies fail the most is that they
have no story. They have no story b/c often they don't even sell
their own products to the end users. The integrators and service
providers and VARs do that for them and we leave the story up to the
people who are installing products instead of those who are creating
them. It never works.

When I was at documentum I learned that I could only ever solve at
best 50% of the problems of my end-users, b/c at best that is how
much control over their experience I have. And that is "problems"
... forget about engaging, and delighting. I suggested that the
organization create a services wing that is UCD based and they said,
None of our customers have ever asked for such a service. OY! that's
all I have to say about enterprise and experience. "Oy!"

What is really needed here is evangelism and education. Work w/ your
partners and teach them what you already take for granted and how
create systems that make it easier for them to use what you teach
them.

-- dave

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21 Jul 2007 - 4:53pm
.pauric
2006

Dave, I think this was mentioned on the list back when it came out,
but worth tying in to this thread

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/HappyCustomersGoodStocks.aspx

"A portfolio of companies with the happiest customers gained 75%
from 2000 to 2004, dwarfing the 19% gain for the Standard & Poor's
500 Index"

Excellent evangelism cannon fodder.

Regarding the VAR channel, in pre dot com implosion we actively
connected the VARs, system engineers and developers. Engineering
became something of 5th level support while at the same time
understanding what the products were being used for. That fell apart
as we downsized. Its one of the processes being re-enacted as we grow
back.

fwiw, I encourage any innies with access to sales or support mail
groups to at least lurk on those channels, there's a few real gems
amoung the chaff.

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