What is the designer’s goal?
When people use systems, they have an experience. It is this experience that the designer cares about. Without the experience, the system is worthless.
Everything we’ve ever seen, done, thought or felt has been an experience. Experiences are so much a part of us; they are hard to thing about. But they are very hard to describe. You can’t see them, touch them, or hold them — you can’t even really share them. No two people can have identical experiences or the same thing = each person’s experience of something is completely unique.
“If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
As designers, we don’t really care about the tree and how it falls — we care only about the experience of hearing it. The tree is just a means to an end. And if no one is there to hear it, well, we don’t care at all.
Designers only care about what seems to exist. The system are real. The experience is imaginary — but designers are judged by the quality of this imaginary thing because it is the reason people use systems. All we can do is create artifacts that are likely to create certain kinds of experiences when a user interacts with them.
And it is this that make design so hard. We create an artifact that a user interacts with and cross out fingers that the experience that takes place during that interaction is something they will enjoy. We never truly see the output of out work, since it is an experience had by someone else and, ultimately, unshareable.
What is so special about experiences? We do it for the experience it create. There are certain feelings: feelings of choice, feelings of freedom feelings of responsibility, feelings of accomplishment, feelings of friendship which experiences seem to offer.
To uncover the human mind and the secrets of human heart no one field of study has managed to perfectly map this territory, but several different fields have managed to map out parts of it. Three, in particular, stand out: psychology, anthropology, and design.
Psychologist want to understand the mechanism that make people tick,
Anthropologist want to understand people of human level, and
Designers just want to make people happy.
Psychology, the scientist who study the mechanism that govern the human mind, but does not have all the answers we need. It provides approaches we can use quite effectively. Designers can make use of both behavioristic experiments and phenomenological introspection to learn what we need to know, since ultimately, as designers, we are not concerned with what is definitely true in the world of objective reality, but only with what seems to be true in the world of subjective experience.
Anthropology, study about human beings and what they think and do, takes a much more holistic approach than psychology, looking at everything about people including their physical, mental and cultural aspects, with studying the similarities and differences between the various peoples of the world today and throughout history. For designers the approach of cultural anthropology, which is the study of living peoples’ ways of life, mostly through fieldwork.
Design, “rules of thumb” that comes from different disciplines illustrating principles about human experience. Good ideas can come from anywhere, but they are only good for us if they help us create better experiences.
The problem with drawing conclusions about reality based on introspection — just because something feels true, it doesn’t mean it is true.
False Conclusions about Reality. When dealing with the human heart and mind and trying to understand experience an what things feel like, introspection is an incredibly powerful and trustworthy tools. We care about how things feel and less about what is really true. Because of this, we can often confidently trust out feelings and instincts when making conclusions about the quality of an experience.
May Not Be True for Others. This is subjectivity. Without resorting to such limiting extremes, is again to listen all positions. Is a process of not just listening to yourself but also listening to others.
You must be able to clearly state what you like, what you don’t like, and why.
We need try to observe doing stuff, without disturbing yourself. Analyze Memories, the experience as well, how it felt and why.
If I want to make a game, say, a snowball fight, there is no way I can perfectly replicate the experience of a real snowball fight.
The point is that you don’t need to perfectly replicate real experience to make a good game. What you need to do is to capture de essence of those experiences for your game. Some key features that define it and make it special.
Trying to design an experience, your goal is to figure out the essential element that really define the experience. If you have a vision of how would like your solution to feel to the users — you need to consider how you are going to deliver the essential experience.