User Experience Strategy

25 Jul 2007 - 7:09am
7 years ago
25 replies
1013 reads
morville
2010

I've written an article about user experience strategy...

http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000179.php

...and would love feedback. I'm especially interested in learning about
articles, presentations, or anything else I missed that deals specifically
with user experience strategy. I'd also be interested to hear reactions to
the strange connections I'm making between UX strategy and futurity. Thanks!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

Comments

25 Jul 2007 - 9:41am
Dan Saffer
2003

Peter,

Where you are going to get pushback (from me at least), is probably
this paragraph:

"As an information architect, I’m sensitive to the fact that quite
often the last thing users want is an experience. In many contexts,
usability and findability simply outweigh desirability. Users want to
find it, use it, and move on. The best experience is invisible."

Now, we could (and probably should) have a discussion about what "an
experience" entails, but that might be a long digression. I will say
that users probably don't *consciously* want An Experience but the
truth of the matter is they are going to have an experience whether
they want one or not. That experience can be one I want to have, or
it can be one I am forced to have. Which would YOU prefer? I
personally don't want a utilitarian world of tan objects and white
screens.

I'm also afraid your bias towards pure web work is showing here.
Experience strategy (and thus experience design (and thus interaction
design)) goes way beyond the world of websites. In the consumer
electronics world, people won't use or find useful your product
typically unless it is desirable. Apple's whole line of products for
the last 10 years has been built on desire. In the environmental
design, few want bland spaces in which customers can just "find it,
use it, and move on." Most retail stores would go out of business.
We'd have a world of Wal-Marts.

Experience strategy should be about discovering the appropriate form
your designs should take: what content, what medium, what goals the
product or service should have. If you start with the attitude of
"find it, use it, and move on" you likely aren't going to create the
appropriate strategy for anything but the most utilitarian of brands.

I wouldn't discount desire and especially wouldn't put it below
characteristics of much lesser importance like findability (which is
really just a sub-category of usable). I want to live in a world of
beautiful, functional things. As Don Norman reminded us all,
beautiful things work better. The best experiences aren't invisible.
The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance the
functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

25 Jul 2007 - 9:59am
morville
2010

Dan,

I agree that paragraph comes across a bit strong, and I'm certainly guilty
of having a web-centric bias, but what I'm trying to convey is that framing
the work we do as "user experience design" or "experience strategy" does
introduce bias and create blind spots. So does every other framing of what
we do. As long as we're aware of that bias, we can find ways to see beyond
it.

And, I'd be the last to celebrate Wal-Mart, but we sorta do have a world of
Wal-Marts. Sometimes, low-cost, utilitarian strategies do work.

That said, I too would prefer to live in a world of beautiful, functional
things, which is why I'm happy to be part of the design community :-)

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Dan
Saffer
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:42 AM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

Peter,

Where you are going to get pushback (from me at least), is probably this
paragraph:

"As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that quite often the
last thing users want is an experience. In many contexts, usability and
findability simply outweigh desirability. Users want to find it, use it, and
move on. The best experience is invisible."

Now, we could (and probably should) have a discussion about what "an
experience" entails, but that might be a long digression. I will say that
users probably don't *consciously* want An Experience but the truth of the
matter is they are going to have an experience whether they want one or not.
That experience can be one I want to have, or it can be one I am forced to
have. Which would YOU prefer? I personally don't want a utilitarian world of
tan objects and white screens.

I'm also afraid your bias towards pure web work is showing here.
Experience strategy (and thus experience design (and thus interaction
design)) goes way beyond the world of websites. In the consumer electronics
world, people won't use or find useful your product typically unless it is
desirable. Apple's whole line of products for the last 10 years has been
built on desire. In the environmental design, few want bland spaces in which
customers can just "find it, use it, and move on." Most retail stores would
go out of business.
We'd have a world of Wal-Marts.

Experience strategy should be about discovering the appropriate form your
designs should take: what content, what medium, what goals the product or
service should have. If you start with the attitude of "find it, use it, and
move on" you likely aren't going to create the appropriate strategy for
anything but the most utilitarian of brands.

I wouldn't discount desire and especially wouldn't put it below
characteristics of much lesser importance like findability (which is really
just a sub-category of usable). I want to live in a world of beautiful,
functional things. As Don Norman reminded us all, beautiful things work
better. The best experiences aren't invisible.
The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance the
functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics.

Dan

Dan Saffer
Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
http://www.adaptivepath.com
http://www.odannyboy.com

________________________________________________________________
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25 Jul 2007 - 10:30am
.pauric
2006

Dan/Don: "The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance
the functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics."

I beleive there is also another connection here between impressions
made by the aesthetics and the long term experience expected based on
those impressions.

There is a subconscious reasoning process that if something looks
well designed, the aesthetics, then the manufacturer applied the same
level of design to non-obvious aspects of the product.

In other words, consumers infer the amount of overall engineering
effort from the design of the presentation layer.

Creating a product that disconnects between the aesthetics and
functionality has the following pitfalls.

Product A looks & feels well built, but the UI sucks. I desired it
but feel let down. Bad experience.
Product B looks cheap but it has actually turned out to be well
designed. Costly development, risks low sales. No initial desire,
little long term joy of use.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656

25 Jul 2007 - 11:26am
SemanticWill
2007

I agree with the statement that everything has a user experience, it just
depends upon whether it was intentional or not, well designed or not, a
positive ux or not. It's true that when I want a venti ice coffee with 2
shots of espresso (everyday @ 3pm), what matters most is just getting in,
buying, getting out -- but I appreciate the amount of care that sbucks put
into the overall experience, music, ambient lighting, etc. more so than the
fast-food aesthetic (or lack of care, industrial conveyor belt experience)
by the competing dunkin donuts here in Kendall Sq. So both give me a
caffeine fix, and I spend 150 more, both for the coffee, and the experience
at starbucks.

~ will

-------------------------------------------
n: will evans
t: user experience anti-guru
e: wkevans4 at gmail.com

-------------------------------------------

On 7/25/07, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Dan/Don: "The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance
> the functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics."
>
> I beleive there is also another connection here between impressions
> made by the aesthetics and the long term experience expected based on
> those impressions.
>
> There is a subconscious reasoning process that if something looks
> well designed, the aesthetics, then the manufacturer applied the same
> level of design to non-obvious aspects of the product.
>
> In other words, consumers infer the amount of overall engineering
> effort from the design of the presentation layer.
>
> Creating a product that disconnects between the aesthetics and
> functionality has the following pitfalls.
>
> Product A looks & feels well built, but the UI sucks. I desired it
> but feel let down. Bad experience.
> Product B looks cheap but it has actually turned out to be well
> designed. Costly development, risks low sales. No initial desire,
> little long term joy of use.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

25 Jul 2007 - 1:32pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

Peter: "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that quite
often the last thing users want is an experience. ... The best experience is
invisible."

Dan: "As Don Norman reminded us all, beautiful things work better. The best
experiences aren't invisible. The best experiences are those where the
aesthetics enhance the functionality and the functionality enhances the
aesthetics."

I think, both of you are referring to two distinct definitions of
experiences in the Maslow's hierarchy (perhaps due to distinct frame
references for user experience (Lakoff)).

Peter refers to the utilitarian experience of usability (and it's two
subsets - "findability" and "uninterrupted *flow* experience"). The
experience belongs to the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy: Safety and
Physiological needs. I would recommend clarifying the sentence in the
article thus: "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that
quite often the last thing users want is an *interrupted "flow"*experience."

Don is right about the importance of aesthetic experience. Aesthetic
experience is a subset of *social* experiences and belongs to the higher
levels in the hierarchy of needs. These social experiences are sought after;
they are the positive need meant to be lingered upon. They can be built on
good usability, and *sometimes*, they are even able to override bad
usability. The obvious examples of the visible, desirable, thoroughly
"experienced" experiences are iPhone, MySpace (an example of poor
usability), this mailing list and other social networks (appeal to the
social needs of love, self-esteem, and self-actualization).

As far as Wal-Mart and other mostly utilitarian experiences are concerned,
someone like Kunstler ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ )
eventually comes along, puts the mirror in front of the ugly experience and
inevitably the mostly "utilitarian" becomes overwhelmingly undesirable.
Notice that the urban experience Kunstler is talking about is still usable
(for the moment), functional, and "invisible" in a sense that it does not
interfere with the daily life, yet it is very much undesirable. It is an
experience not worth caring about.

To answer Peter's request for suggestions: in the final count the user
experience design strategies are shaped to confirm fundamental human needs
described by Maslow. I am curios if there are insightful articles covering
this particular topic?
Oleh

On 7/25/07, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
>
> Peter,
>
> Where you are going to get pushback (from me at least), is probably
> this paragraph:
>
> "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that quite
> often the last thing users want is an experience. In many contexts,
> usability and findability simply outweigh desirability. Users want to
> find it, use it, and move on. The best experience is invisible."
>
> Now, we could (and probably should) have a discussion about what "an
> experience" entails, but that might be a long digression. I will say
> that users probably don't *consciously* want An Experience but the
> truth of the matter is they are going to have an experience whether
> they want one or not. That experience can be one I want to have, or
> it can be one I am forced to have. Which would YOU prefer? I
> personally don't want a utilitarian world of tan objects and white
> screens.
>
> I'm also afraid your bias towards pure web work is showing here.
> Experience strategy (and thus experience design (and thus interaction
> design)) goes way beyond the world of websites. In the consumer
> electronics world, people won't use or find useful your product
> typically unless it is desirable. Apple's whole line of products for
> the last 10 years has been built on desire. In the environmental
> design, few want bland spaces in which customers can just "find it,
> use it, and move on." Most retail stores would go out of business.
> We'd have a world of Wal-Marts.
>
> Experience strategy should be about discovering the appropriate form
> your designs should take: what content, what medium, what goals the
> product or service should have. If you start with the attitude of
> "find it, use it, and move on" you likely aren't going to create the
> appropriate strategy for anything but the most utilitarian of brands.
>
> I wouldn't discount desire and especially wouldn't put it below
> characteristics of much lesser importance like findability (which is
> really just a sub-category of usable). I want to live in a world of
> beautiful, functional things. As Don Norman reminded us all,
> beautiful things work better. The best experiences aren't invisible.
> The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance the
> functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics.
>
> Dan
>
>
>
> Dan Saffer
> Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> http://www.adaptivepath.com
> http://www.odannyboy.com
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is the Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

25 Jul 2007 - 5:47pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

A note on appreciation of aesthetics of design:

Since evolutionary psychology suggests that the inclination to art could be
the result of sexual selection [1], it only stands to reason that some
people might be handicapped by nature and will not be able to appreciate
beautiful designs.

It's important to recognize that these handicapped people will most probably
dismiss the importance of aesthetically pleasing design as irrelevant. It is
even more important for *them* to recognize that they are missing a
significant personal quality; the quality, which other people, many of
them potential customers, value. Fortunately Apple tells fairly persuasive
stories.

Oleh

[1] Geffrey Miller "The Mating Mind" http://tinyurl.com/23skra

--
Oleh Kovalchuke
Interaction Design is the Design of Time
http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

On 7/25/07, Oleh Kovalchuke <tangospring at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Peter: "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that quite
> often the last thing users want is an experience. ... The best experience is
> invisible."
>
> Dan: "As Don Norman reminded us all, beautiful things work better. The
> best experiences aren't invisible. The best experiences are those where the
> aesthetics enhance the functionality and the functionality enhances the
> aesthetics."
>
> I think, both of you are referring to two distinct definitions of
> experiences in the Maslow's hierarchy (perhaps due to distinct frame
> references for user experience (Lakoff)).
>
> Peter refers to the utilitarian experience of usability (and it's two
> subsets - "findability" and "uninterrupted *flow* experience"). The
> experience belongs to the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy: Safety and
> Physiological needs. I would recommend clarifying the sentence in the
> article thus: "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that
> quite often the last thing users want is an *interrupted "flow"*experience."
>
> Don is right about the importance of aesthetic experience. Aesthetic
> experience is a subset of *social* experiences and belongs to the higher
> levels in the hierarchy of needs. These social experiences are sought after;
> they are the positive need meant to be lingered upon. They can be built on
> good usability, and *sometimes*, they are even able to override bad
> usability. The obvious examples of the visible, desirable, thoroughly
> "experienced" experiences are iPhone, MySpace (an example of poor
> usability), this mailing list and other social networks (appeal to the
> social needs of love, self-esteem, and self-actualization).
>
> As far as Wal-Mart and other mostly utilitarian experiences are concerned,
> someone like Kunstler ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1ZeXnmDZMQ )
> eventually comes along, puts the mirror in front of the ugly experience and
> inevitably the mostly "utilitarian" becomes overwhelmingly undesirable.
> Notice that the urban experience Kunstler is talking about is still usable
> (for the moment), functional, and "invisible" in a sense that it does not
> interfere with the daily life, yet it is very much undesirable. It is an
> experience not worth caring about.
>
> To answer Peter's request for suggestions: in the final count the user
> experience design strategies are shaped to confirm fundamental human needs
> described by Maslow. I am curios if there are insightful articles covering
> this particular topic?
> Oleh
>
>
>
> On 7/25/07, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> >
> > Peter,
> >
> > Where you are going to get pushback (from me at least), is probably
> > this paragraph:
> >
> > "As an information architect, I'm sensitive to the fact that quite
> > often the last thing users want is an experience. In many contexts,
> > usability and findability simply outweigh desirability. Users want to
> > find it, use it, and move on. The best experience is invisible."
> >
> > Now, we could (and probably should) have a discussion about what "an
> > experience" entails, but that might be a long digression. I will say
> > that users probably don't *consciously* want An Experience but the
> > truth of the matter is they are going to have an experience whether
> > they want one or not. That experience can be one I want to have, or
> > it can be one I am forced to have. Which would YOU prefer? I
> > personally don't want a utilitarian world of tan objects and white
> > screens.
> >
> > I'm also afraid your bias towards pure web work is showing here.
> > Experience strategy (and thus experience design (and thus interaction
> > design)) goes way beyond the world of websites. In the consumer
> > electronics world, people won't use or find useful your product
> > typically unless it is desirable. Apple's whole line of products for
> > the last 10 years has been built on desire. In the environmental
> > design, few want bland spaces in which customers can just "find it,
> > use it, and move on." Most retail stores would go out of business.
> > We'd have a world of Wal-Marts.
> >
> > Experience strategy should be about discovering the appropriate form
> > your designs should take: what content, what medium, what goals the
> > product or service should have. If you start with the attitude of
> > "find it, use it, and move on" you likely aren't going to create the
> > appropriate strategy for anything but the most utilitarian of brands.
> >
> > I wouldn't discount desire and especially wouldn't put it below
> > characteristics of much lesser importance like findability (which is
> > really just a sub-category of usable). I want to live in a world of
> > beautiful, functional things. As Don Norman reminded us all,
> > beautiful things work better. The best experiences aren't invisible.
> > The best experiences are those where the aesthetics enhance the
> > functionality and the functionality enhances the aesthetics.
> >
> > Dan
> >
> >
> >
> > Dan Saffer
> > Sr. Interaction Designer, Adaptive Path
> > http://www.adaptivepath.com
> > http://www.odannyboy.com
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > 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
> > Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Oleh Kovalchuke
> Interaction Design is the Design of Time
> http://www.tangospring.com/IxDtopicWhatIsInteractionDesign.htm

25 Jul 2007 - 6:13pm
Scott Bower
2006

Me to.

It is to bad that we can't be there with a video camera every time a
user (aka a human being) smiles in delight when they experience
something beautiful (which also happens to saves lives) that we have
designed. Perhaps that would convince "Product Owners" representing the
companies "stakeholders" (the stockholders) that understanding and
investing in design (contextual inquiry etc) is more important than
investing in an army of Agile developers to build unjustified
functionality in tiny little unconnected pieces....

It is to bad we can't all work for a place like Eyebeam.

scott

On Jul 25, 2007, at 11:41 AM, Dan Saffer wrote:

> I want to live in a world of
> beautiful, functional things

25 Jul 2007 - 6:11pm
bminihan
2007

> Dan: "As Don Norman reminded us all, beautiful things work better. The
> best experiences aren't invisible. The best experiences are those where
the
> aesthetics enhance the functionality and the functionality enhances the
> aesthetics."

I hear this valid point frequently from developers (I am one, and follow
their migration habits) to describe creations that, while aesthetically
pleasing, place the beauty in the wrong place.

I don't know if I'm alone in this, but it seems the emphasis on an
aesthetically pleasing experience needs to be placed on the entire
experience, and isn't a license to make every aspect of an application a
beautiful experience.

>From what I've seen of the iPhone, its desirability is tied just as closely
to its elegance, as to its pleasing appearance. Apple did a great job on
both, but one without the other reduces desirability (elegant, simple
features that are ugly to look at, vs very pretty design with 5000 things to
learn). Too often, I ask developers to minimize or replace a beautifully
designed feature - a Flash-driven world clock, for instance - so the user
can focus on their primary task - quickly finding the time in Japan.

I think the point about "good design should be invisible" is that it should
start there. Everything you do after that should make it beautiful, without
getting in the way. If you can't get to the first point, no amount of
aesthetics will help.

- Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

25 Jul 2007 - 6:34pm
Dan Saffer
2003

On Jul 25, 2007, at 5:11 PM, Bryan Minihan wrote:

> I hear this valid point frequently from developers (I am one, and
> follow
> their migration habits) to describe creations that, while
> aesthetically
> pleasing, place the beauty in the wrong place.
>
> I don't know if I'm alone in this, but it seems the emphasis on an
> aesthetically pleasing experience needs to be placed on the entire
> experience, and isn't a license to make every aspect of an
> application a
> beautiful experience.
>

I would argue that every aspect should be aesthetically pleasing.
Determining a) what those aspects are and b) what "aesthetically
pleasing" means in the context of this specific product or service is
what experience strategy and design should be about: what features
should there be and where does the emphasis get placed. How that
emphasis is realized is the job of experience designers.

> I think the point about "good design should be invisible" is that
> it should
> start there. Everything you do after that should make it
> beautiful, without
> getting in the way. If you can't get to the first point, no amount of
> aesthetics will help.

Sometimes being aesthetically pleasing and elegant is about being
invisible, or nearly so. Sometimes, it isn't. If developers are over-
designing, it's the designer's job to reel them back in. (And visa
versa, lest we get on our high horses here; no one over-designs more
than designers!)

Dan

26 Jul 2007 - 9:35am
morville
2010

Okay, I think we're agreed that we need and value both form AND function,
and that ideally they reinforce one another, but what about my question
about the relationship between user experience, design, innovation, and
futures techniques?

I remember seeing an interesting talk by Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten
called Postcards from the Future
(http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.org/index.html) at an Experience Design
Summit many years ago.

And, the work at Ivrea on Creating Imaginable Futures
(http://tinyurl.com/2jgkfz) is a nice example of using design strategy as a
foresight tool.

Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

26 Jul 2007 - 10:59am
Dave Malouf
2005

Peter, my current work at Motorola Enterprise Mobility does some
imagining the future at some level. We do this mainly in our scenario
building, but it comes up in other ways as well.

I do think that this type of work is fairly common in the general
product design community. Maybe it is a place where UX needs to play
catch up to communication and industrial design.

I think this is why the "design thinking" community is mostly led
by folks like IDEO and other ID shops who have been doing "design
thinking" as well part of their DNA for so long.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656

26 Jul 2007 - 11:21am
morville
2010

Thanks Dave. I think you're right about the need to play catch up. Are there
any books or articles or other resources you know of that focus on this
specific aspect of design thinking?

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
Malouf
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:59 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

Peter, my current work at Motorola Enterprise Mobility does some imagining
the future at some level. We do this mainly in our scenario building, but it
comes up in other ways as well.

I do think that this type of work is fairly common in the general product
design community. Maybe it is a place where UX needs to play catch up to
communication and industrial design.

I think this is why the "design thinking" community is mostly led by folks
like IDEO and other ID shops who have been doing "design thinking" as well
part of their DNA for so long.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656

________________________________________________________________
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 Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

26 Jul 2007 - 11:34am
Dave Malouf
2005

To be honest, I'm playing catch up through collaboration.
I work in an industrial design and research studio right now. Until
this point, I think I "knew" I had to play catch up, but I didn't know
where to begin. Working with these folks has been just wonderful
experience.

Find projects that force you to do the work with people who are
already doing it is probably the best stuff to do.

But I think Tom Kelly from IDEO has a couple of books (at least one)
on the topic that might be of interest.

I just want to add that not everyone on this list in particular is in
the same boat as myself. Many have pretty diverse and deep design
backgrounds already. Its one of the things I've noticed to be more
prevalent in the IxDA community than other UX communities is a larger
critical mass of people with design education backgrounds. I believe
it is one of the core aspects that differentiates this community from
other UX communities (not better, not worse, just different).

-- dave

On 7/26/07, Peter Morville <morville at semanticstudios.com> wrote:
> Thanks Dave. I think you're right about the need to play catch up. Are there
> any books or articles or other resources you know of that focus on this
> specific aspect of design thinking?
>
>
> Peter Morville
> President, Semantic Studios
> http://semanticstudios.com/
> http://findability.org/
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
> Malouf
> Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:59 PM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy
>
> Peter, my current work at Motorola Enterprise Mobility does some imagining
> the future at some level. We do this mainly in our scenario building, but it
> comes up in other ways as well.
>
> I do think that this type of work is fairly common in the general product
> design community. Maybe it is a place where UX needs to play catch up to
> communication and industrial design.
>
> I think this is why the "design thinking" community is mostly led by folks
> like IDEO and other ID shops who have been doing "design thinking" as well
> part of their DNA for so long.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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 Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>
>
>

--
David Malouf
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/
http://motorola.com/

26 Jul 2007 - 11:49am
Mark Schraad
2006

if the specific 'design thinking' component you are looking for is scenario planning, there is quite a bit of work by Peter Schwartz available in book and print. There is a very good 'how to' pdf n the GBN web site available for download.

I was fortunate enough to do research work and participate in some sessions a couple of years ago while in grad school. Scenario planning can be extraordinarily powerful in advance of strategy planning and just prior to brainstorming session. The great thing about extended timeline thinking is that is can stratch the clients vision to make innovation seem less risky and radical (think about the impact of auto industry's car of the future concepts).

Finding documentation of the processes developed at Scient is much harder. Dan Saffer dug a few up in his early graduate work as I recall. I spent quite a long time looking, but fell short of anything really helpful.

Mark

On Thursday, July 26, 2007, at 01:22PM, "Peter Morville" <morville at semanticstudios.com> wrote:
>Thanks Dave. I think you're right about the need to play catch up. Are there
>any books or articles or other resources you know of that focus on this
>specific aspect of design thinking?
>
>
>Peter Morville
>President, Semantic Studios
>http://semanticstudios.com/
>http://findability.org/
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of David
>Malouf
>Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 12:59 PM
>To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
>Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy
>
>Peter, my current work at Motorola Enterprise Mobility does some imagining
>the future at some level. We do this mainly in our scenario building, but it
>comes up in other ways as well.
>
>I do think that this type of work is fairly common in the general product
>design community. Maybe it is a place where UX needs to play catch up to
>communication and industrial design.
>
>I think this is why the "design thinking" community is mostly led by folks
>like IDEO and other ID shops who have been doing "design thinking" as well
>part of their DNA for so long.
>
>

26 Jul 2007 - 12:07pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

Peter Morville wrote:

> Thanks Dave. I think you're right about the need
> to play catch up. Are there any books or articles
> or other resources you know of that focus on this
> specific aspect of design thinking?

In my IA Style presentation (which I'm giving in NYC tonight, plug
plug), I argue that being conscious of aesthetic style, and indeed even
immediately envisioning specific aesthetic style solutions, from *Day 1*
of your project even before you've got the project's problems and
objectives defined completely, is not only preferable to simply adding
the style later in the project, or even at the end, but it is in fact
what we naturally want to do anyway.

It's the false dichotomy of the (I think) outdated "form over function"
doctrine that has caused us to constantly try to retrofit the design
process into what is basically a software development mode of thinking
about product development.

Look at these charts comparing how designers approach problem-solving
and how the traditional waterfall methodology approaches solving a
problem. It's a profound mismatch of thinking:
http://www.johnniemoore.com/blog/archives/000933.php

Innovation and envisioning the future is easily facilitated when we cast
aside our aversion to envisioning specific, concrete, and good-looking
solutions while we are still in the "defining the problem" phase of a
given project. Many designers, including myself, do this in the form of
sketches, collages, research. You should be constantly dreaming up new
products and designs, and not necessarily as solutions to problems
formally presented to you but just for the hell of it. Check out the
theoretical work of students, artists, coolhunters, etc, and be inspired
by the way that they approach solutions to problems that don't exist.

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
http://www.behaviordesign.com
me: http://www.graphpaper.com

26 Jul 2007 - 12:18pm
Christopher Fahey
2005

> It's the false dichotomy of the (I think) outdated "form over
> function" doctrine

Um, I of course meant "form FOLLOWS function".

-Cf

Christopher Fahey
____________________________
Behavior
http://www.behaviordesign.com
212.532.4002 x203
646.338.4002 mobile

26 Jul 2007 - 12:21pm
morville
2010

Thanks Mark. I've been a fan of scenario planning ever since reading The Art
of the Long View [1]. There are some promising pointers (e.g., human-future
interaction) relating to scenarios in my ux strategy blog post comments [2].
I'm just wondering what other futures techniques [3] user experience and
interaction designers are experimenting with.

For instance, from Sandra's message, it sounds like vision storyboards can
be powerful in certain contexts. Also, I've been hearing more folks talking
about "backcasting" lately. Are there other methods you've have success or
failure with...or would like to try sometime?

Thanks for all the contributions so far!

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Art-Long-View-Planning-Uncertain/dp/0385267320

[2] http://www.findability.org/archives/000180.php

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Futures_techniques

[4]
http://www.slideshare.net/mmilan/backcasting-ia-summit-2007-session-presenta
tion

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Schraad [mailto:mschraad at mac.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:49 PM
To: Peter Morville
Cc: 'David Malouf'; discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

if the specific 'design thinking' component you are looking for is scenario
planning, there is quite a bit of work by Peter Schwartz available in book
and print. There is a very good 'how to' pdf n the GBN web site available
for download.

26 Jul 2007 - 2:36pm
Robert Reimann
2003

Peter,

Thanks for the thought-provoking article and discussion.

Re: UX driving design innovation and futures:

Members of my UX team at Bose work have been working closely with marketing
and
advanced development along these lines: using detailed knowledge we've
gathered about customer behaviors in the home entertainment space to create
feature
sets (which are then synthesized into full product concepts) targeted
towards specific
unmet customer needs for a number of behavioral segments (personas). The
output can
range from incremental improvements to dramatically different approaches to
the product
space.

I think the heart of innovation is discovering new ways to deliver real and
unique benefits
to users/customers. Understanding customer need and desire is critical to
the process, but
understanding how to translate customer need to feasible, viable, and
compelling solutions
(i.e., imagining a better future) is where UX Strategy can provide its
greatest value.

Robert.

On 7/26/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Peter, my current work at Motorola Enterprise Mobility does some
> imagining the future at some level. We do this mainly in our scenario
> building, but it comes up in other ways as well.
>
> I do think that this type of work is fairly common in the general
> product design community. Maybe it is a place where UX needs to play
> catch up to communication and industrial design.
>
> I think this is why the "design thinking" community is mostly led
> by folks like IDEO and other ID shops who have been doing "design
> thinking" as well part of their DNA for so long.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18656
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
Robert Reimann
President, IxDA

Manager, User Experience
Bose Corporation
Framingham, MA

26 Jul 2007 - 6:30pm
Peter Merholz
2004

Around this time last year, there was quite a buzz about "tangible
futures" and their role in developing experience strategy. Some links:

Victor has a whole bunch of posts:
http://www.noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?cat=131

My colleague Ryan wrote about it:
http://secondverse.wordpress.com/2006/04/19/making-the-future-tangible/

It came up in my discussion with Michael Bierut
http://www.adaptivepath.com/blog/2006/06/26/conversation-with-michael-
bierut-part-2/

And I wrote about it as a design meme:
http://www.peterme.com/archives/000723.html

--peter

On Jul 26, 2007, at 8:35 AM, Peter Morville wrote:

> Okay, I think we're agreed that we need and value both form AND
> function,
> and that ideally they reinforce one another, but what about my
> question
> about the relationship between user experience, design, innovation,
> and
> futures techniques?
>
> I remember seeing an interesting talk by Nathan Shedroff and Davis
> Masten
> called Postcards from the Future
> (http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.org/index.html) at an Experience
> Design
> Summit many years ago.
>
> And, the work at Ivrea on Creating Imaginable Futures
> (http://tinyurl.com/2jgkfz) is a nice example of using design
> strategy as a
> foresight tool.
>
> Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!
>
>
> Peter Morville
> President, Semantic Studios
> http://semanticstudios.com/
> http://findability.org/
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

26 Jul 2007 - 11:26am
Sandra Kogan
2007

Hi Peter, Yes - I've been doing vision storyboards for a while now. I used
to work in medical informatics and we almost always
included vision/innovation storyboards along with our grant applications.
This worked for and against us at various times... In some cases, the vision
storyboard was so refined that people thought the work was done :-)

I'm currently at Lotus, working as a Design Researcher (strategic design and
user experience) and use vision storyboards to communicate results of my
research with customers or specific target groups.

I've found this to be a very effective way to communicate results of my
research (both qualitative and quantitative) and help to shape and co-evolve
the strategy. It serves as a great articulation tool throughout the
hierarchy and enhances the process of getting richer feedback.

Sandra

Desig Research
Lotus/IBM

On 7/26/07, Peter Morville <morville at semanticstudios.com> wrote:
>
> Okay, I think we're agreed that we need and value both form AND function,
> and that ideally they reinforce one another, but what about my question
> about the relationship between user experience, design, innovation, and
> futures techniques?
>
> I remember seeing an interesting talk by Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten
> called Postcards from the Future
> (http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.org/index.html) at an Experience Design
> Summit many years ago.
>
> And, the work at Ivrea on Creating Imaginable Futures
> (http://tinyurl.com/2jgkfz) is a nice example of using design strategy as
> a
> foresight tool.
>
> Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!
>
>
> Peter Morville
> President, Semantic Studios
> http://semanticstudios.com/
> http://findability.org/
>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> 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
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

26 Jul 2007 - 11:35pm
Steve Baty
2009

Peter,

Firstly, I found the article itself very interesting, and one which
generated a lot of thought. I'll summarise that thinking as follows:
i) A strategy, any strategy (including user experience) is the means by
which one aims to achieve a certain objective or vision;
ii) Our vision should be something tied directly to how we, as an
organisation, define our existence in business;
iii) Our user experience strategy should be consistent with our brand
values, and should - at least in part - aim to communicate those values to
our consumers/users/visitors/guests etc through our interactions with them.
(It could be argued that there is little, if any, real distinction between
these two things. There shouldn't be, but the reality is that they're often
quite distinct);

A user experience strategy which aims to produce the most utilitarian,
no-fuss, use-it-and-move-on products possible is no less valid than one
which aims to make every customer engagement memorable. As Dan mentions, the
aesthetic might be largely invisible (or unnoticed), but strategically its
importance is different to that of the usability. However, in the same way
that one manufacturer might aim to compete in the marketplace as the
low-cost producer of a particular product type versus producing the 'most
desirable' or stylish product (sold at a premium), there will be different
UX strategies adopted by companies for the way they engage with their
customers.

It is also important to know which type of UX strategy you want to work
under. Some people can't stand the constant quest for cost-efficiency that
dominates the business mindset of the low-cost competitor; so they work for
the making of the premium product, where other qualities take precedence.
For some, however, the drive for greater efficiency is a challenge on which
they thrive. Similarly for the UX professional.

Coming back to your question about the connection between UX strategy and
futurity Peter: there are some strategies where the aim will be to define
the future. There will be others where the future is not a consideration -
the technology & interaction style etc will be years behind the leading
edge: and deliberately, and consciously so.

However, one of the key benefits of scenario planning techniques is that
they promote the development of corporate capabilities which can be adapted
to meet one of several likely futures, rather than 'betting the farm' on a
single possible future. For the UX strategist, what are the capabilities
your organisation needs to develop now to be competitive in the future?
There are likely to be several, and some of them may not even be remotely
connected today to what we think of as 'user experience design'.

Steve

On 25/07/07, Peter Morville <morville at semanticstudios.com> wrote:
>
> I've written an article about user experience strategy...
>
> http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000179.php
>
> ...and would love feedback. I'm especially interested in learning about
> articles, presentations, or anything else I missed that deals specifically
> with user experience strategy. I'd also be interested to hear reactions to
> the strange connections I'm making between UX strategy and futurity.
> Thanks!
>
>

--
----------------------------------------------
Steve Baty B.Sc (Maths), M.EC, MBA
Director, User Experience Strategy
Red Square
P: +612 8289 4930
M: +61 417 061 292

27 Jul 2007 - 7:51am
morville
2010

I'm glad you enjoyed the article Steve, and thanks for expanding upon the
relationship between user experience, strategy, and the future. And, thanks
to everyone for sharing so many useful links both on and off-list. I'm
looking forward to digging into my new stack of reading material. Cheers!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

________________________________

From: Steve Baty [mailto:stevebaty at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2007 1:35 AM
To: Peter Morville
Cc: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

Peter,

Firstly, I found the article itself very interesting, and one which
generated a lot of thought. I'll summarise that thinking as follows:
i) A strategy, any strategy (including user experience) is the means by
which one aims to achieve a certain objective or vision;
ii) Our vision should be something tied directly to how we, as an
organisation, define our existence in business;
iii) Our user experience strategy should be consistent with our brand
values, and should - at least in part - aim to communicate those values to
our consumers/users/visitors/guests etc through our interactions with them.
(It could be argued that there is little, if any, real distinction between
these two things. There shouldn't be, but the reality is that they're often
quite distinct)...

30 Jul 2007 - 11:24am
Jacob Burghardt
2007

Thank you for this exciting thread Peter.

My area of research and design focus is in applications for complex
knowledge work, and over the last year, all of my consulting projects have
been UX strategy and futures engagements. I find this work highly rewarding
and my clients have found it to be a "missing link" between their business
strategies and technology planning.

I look forward to contributing to this conversation with my forthcoming book
"Working through the Screen: 100 Ideas for Envisioning Powerful, Engaging,
and Productive User Experiences for Knowledge Work" (which I am currently
illustrating and will post online later this year). The front matter of
this work presents a critique of some current practices for developing
interactive applications, arguing for approaches that emphasize strategic
exploration of user experience options.

Anyone that is interested in reviewing the draft text can send me email at
jburghardt at flashbulbinteraction.com

Jake Burghardt
Seattle, WA

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Peter
Morville
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 8:36 AM
To: 'IxDA Discuss'
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

Okay, I think we're agreed that we need and value both form AND function,
and that ideally they reinforce one another, but what about my question
about the relationship between user experience, design, innovation, and
futures techniques?

I remember seeing an interesting talk by Nathan Shedroff and Davis Masten
called Postcards from the Future
(http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.org/index.html) at an Experience Design
Summit many years ago.

And, the work at Ivrea on Creating Imaginable Futures
(http://tinyurl.com/2jgkfz) is a nice example of using design strategy as a
foresight tool.

Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

________________________________________________________________
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
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

30 Jul 2007 - 3:49pm
Victor Lombardi
2003

Hi Peter,

For the last few years I've been gradually developing a technique
called "Tangible Futures" that is essentially a combination of
lightweight scenario planning extended to include tangible prototypes
of strategy. They're used less to design an artifact and more to
convince a manager to commit resources needed to pursue a new
opportunity.

I've given a presentation on the topic, but haven't compiled it into
a stand-alone format yet. But there are others like James Cascio and
the Institute for the Future who are doing similar things. Some notes
and references of mine are here:
http://noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?cat=131

Best,
Victor

On Jul 30, 2007, at 5:20 PM, Peter Morville wrote:
>
> ...what about the relationship between user experience, design,
> innovation, and
> futures techniques?
> ...
> Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!

31 Jul 2007 - 9:15am
morville
2010

Did you ever record your observations from attending the World Future
Society (http://www.wfs.org/) annual conference last year? I'd be interested
in your thoughts about the event. Looks like this year's is happening right
now. Thanks Victor!

Peter Morville
President, Semantic Studios
http://semanticstudios.com/
http://findability.org/

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Victor
Lombardi
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 5:49 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] User Experience Strategy

Hi Peter,

For the last few years I've been gradually developing a technique called
"Tangible Futures" that is essentially a combination of lightweight scenario
planning extended to include tangible prototypes of strategy. They're used
less to design an artifact and more to convince a manager to commit
resources needed to pursue a new opportunity.

I've given a presentation on the topic, but haven't compiled it into a
stand-alone format yet. But there are others like James Cascio and the
Institute for the Future who are doing similar things. Some notes and
references of mine are here:
http://noisebetweenstations.com/personal/weblogs/?cat=131

Best,
Victor

On Jul 30, 2007, at 5:20 PM, Peter Morville wrote:
>
> ...what about the relationship between user experience, design,
> innovation, and
> futures techniques?
> ...
> Are folks doing anything along these lines today? Thanks!

________________________________________________________________
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
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

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