Sunday, September 12, 2010

Design is beyond designing products, it's about designing experience.

Let's Start. 
that is me in my first jury in design. 24th Dec 2007.

That is again me giving a presentation at some internationally renowned software company on 28th Aug 2010.

Whats the difference? 
yes am wearing formals and there are people in front of me and i am still talking about my work. But earlier it is the jury panel who talked more and in later it was me going on. 

Let's talk about this thing called DESIGN. What is design? i still could not get the right answer for that. but one new thing i got to know recently after Kyoorius Designyatra 2010 is that "everything in this world is about  experience. "Experience" defined at some websites also as " to undergo an emotional sensation". 
Now emotional sensation and design? whats the connection? reminds me of book "The Emotional Design" by Donald Norman though. yes only if i would have finished the book i would know what it was about. Anyway back to experience. Design is making new things for people. may it be graphic or a product. So according to my new understanding design is not about what you make. its about what experience it creates for the user. One might make a graphic but what matters is what kind of experience a user has while he is looking at the graphic. Same with the product. When one designs a product he should not just look at things like how it looks and works but also what kind of emotions it would generate in user while they using the product. that's what makes ipod different from any other Chinese MP3 player you can buy from a corner shop. 
creating perfect experience is not that easy. It can be one of the most difficult task faced my designer. Specially when you design for India. Now that i think of it i cant remember any product that was great success in India. Why is it difficult to design for India? well India is huge. people change every 100 km and culture changes every next house. there are totally different approaches at the same thing making the whole "experience" thing really difficult to create. Designer who will find a way to overcome this will make good products for India. 
So getting back to experience once again, Design is definitely not about making good looking things, now its not also about its function. its about the meaning of product to the user. the experience that is created by your product and will be related to while using the product. 

Going back to the pictures i put earlier. Why is it that i was much more confident about my work now than what i was earlier? it also has to do with experience. The enthusiasm and environment i experienced during working for the last semester was showing through my work and way of presenting it. I was living in world of my project surrounded with inspiration. that is when my workspace looked like this:

So moral of story:
 1> design/everything is about experience
2> You can deliver the experience to users only if you can experience it yourself while making it.

So next time you design something try living it. It will show at end and you wont be disappointed..


  1. Hi I Cuboid,
    I would like to appreciate your intention of bringing to notice how experience now is greatly related to design; or as you rightly mentioned to everything man does(read woman too..i have no intention of being labeled a sexist!)
    Also experience is a pretty interesting word. And as long as man has existed; he has had always something to do with it. For a man without experience(s) is like one that ceases to exist. So why are we hearing this word so much more these days. People are talking about experience design and how the products are supposed to be experience centric. Well haven't they always been?
    Maybe we were naive then and are smart now to label it. Even a fan that was invented some 150 years ago had an experience associated with it. The breeze/wind generated by the movement of it's blades, on a hot sunny afternoon, in some arid land, must have definitely brought a smile on some country rangers face, who until then must have be soaked in his own sweat. What sweeter experience than that there could have been?
    While man's actions have always had something to do with his experiences, the idea of what an experience means has changed. Its all become a lot more fancier. We talk about the experience that Apple has brought forth, through its various gadgets and gizmos. Through its ipods and iphones. Well in a day and age where technology is changing every second and man has more than he could have probably ever asked for; one in order to survive and compete has to look into new avenues of business.Hence experience it shall be!
    I mean one can understand when we moved on from using cassette players to mp3 players(compactness, convinient,bla bla bla) but what with from an ipod to an itouch? or from a cell phone to an iphone?
    Man's needs aren't as complex as one is made to believe now. I am sure the catch phrase "experience design" is here to stay. Not because it didn't exist earlier, but because everyone is being made to realise it now.
    Also experiences are highly subjective than objective...cause as you mentioned earlier they deal with emotions..and emotions vary!
    So while designing something your experience of it can be highly different from the people who might use it. Leading one to the basic difference between art and design. Ones functional the others experiential. One must understand that experience should not be the aim. It has always been the by-product.
    Hence if one is mostly objective about ones work;a good experience is always bound to follow.

  2. hello mika
    I do agree on experience is a by-product. What i meant was a designer cant ignore the experience part of the product while designing it. earlier it was not thought about while design was in process. With changing times we need to have changing experiences. A fan does not give the same sweet feel now as it used to give earlier. needs are changing with changing technology. Dyson's blade-less fan is not a new concept of air circulation, its a new application making it a new experience. As time changes, people's way of thinking changes and so does the experience related to it.
    If you remember What you used to say happens to be true is "design is no more just need based thing". Thats what i was trying to explain. To beat the sweat fan is enough, but what sells is something that leaves a memory in your mind after you are done using it. That is experience part of it.
    Am not saying experience is a new thing. am saying that experience is something that has not been looked as important constraint in design.


    check this link a says what i tried explaining in my last post.
    Its becoming a term being used to generically by anyone and everyone that has anything to do with design..More over i really like the opening statement of the article...(thats what a lot of us get away with thinking; tht we understand our user really well...hence we can design an experience for them....i really have secnd thoughts bout it...

  4. mikail thanks a lot that was awesome read.. i liked it..