Saturday, 6 September 2008

I am not a designer...

I came cross Nathan Shedroff 's quote about experience design on the website. His Experience Design is the first book I read about this subject -- about three years ago. Interestingly, Shedroff has a very complex and vague way to describe what is experience and what designer is doing with experience encounters. Emotions, Trust, Privacy, Ambiguity, Delight, Satisfaction and Personality... seems all relevant but also far from what one can 'design'. This vague view perhaps is a honest reflection on this pioneer designer's feeling of his own position in this changing world, as many other design pioneers.

Shedroff bravely states: I am not a designer.
" ... I believe that all experiences share particular characteristics that make them successful--whether these are online experiences, such as websites, or real, physical ones, such as theater, meetings, parties, products, environments, buildings, etc. In order to build successful, engaging, and meaningful experiences we must understand what makes experiences wonderful in all media. Certainly, most online experiences are pale and unsatisfying in comparison to those in the rest of our life.

The development of all experiences must create solutions to problems of information creation, interaction, and, of course, sensorial media (the visual, audible, tactile, and other sensory displays that form the solution that people experience. Issues of understanding and meaning (information) and usability and appropriateness (interaction) are cerebral solutions that are only expressible with very sensory components. However, the real problems--and the most interesting solutions--lie in these cognitive processes and not in the beauty of the finished experience. This isn't to say that beautiful experiences aren't important, but beauty without purpose is, ultimately, meaningless."

Perhaps, by saying 'I am not a designer' we can eventually free ourselves from the limits and bias we set for ourselves.
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