Okay, here’s today’s question: who are the practicing “experience designers”? What are their job duties? What are their methods? This skill sets?
The passionate conversation on information architecture and information design, as well as a discussion on sigia about how you can design for information (and experiences) but you can’t design them because they are help in the recipient, has got me thinking about experience design.
I’ve never participated in one of the ED summits (usually too broke or busy or sometimes both) so I’ve only been exposed to ED via the mailing list’s sporadic discussions and nathan’s book which is long on concepts and short on explanations (a book I very much like, in the way I like poems and books of paintings).
The AIGA experience design site offers a short explaination:
- We solve problems of organizational connection and communication
We understand how the organization relates to its internal and external constituents – people (employees, customers, investors, etc.) and organizations (customers, suppliers, partners, competitors, peers, etc.) – as well as the technology and market environment.
- We solve problems of understanding people, in ways useful for business and design
We understand people’s character, behavior, and context-the patterns and complexities of their daily lives
- We solve problems of deciding what to make
We conceive, envision, and inform what products, services, and communications to make
- We solve problems of making things well
We are skilled at making products, services, and communications useful, usable, and desirable
Reading through the longer paper, it seems ED is more design and product strategy.
So– business strategy, organization phych/dev, HCI and design. These folks gotten be triple phd’s all… or have amazing hubis…. or be part of crack teams of experts… or am I missing something still? I feel like I am, because most of the smartest favoritest people I know are involved in ED and I still don’t really get exactly what it is and why it matters (and this post will probably invite some of them to come over and kick my rear– or at least debate me over too many bottles of cheap wine).
Jesse’s book also provides an “experience design” approach, but he seems if not opposed, tangential to the AIGA efforts– it is about their last bullet point primarily. Which would lead me to another question; just what is hate relationship of these two developing— er– efforts. How are user experience design and experience design different. Are they?
And I get how Jesse’s user experience design plays out in the world, but I have trouble seeing how ED does. Or am I trying to make a practice out of a philosophy?
Digging deeper, I discover “The AIGA Experience Design Community brings together all types of experience design practitioners to focus on larger issues of business value and collaborative practice and methods …. AIGA uses the term “experience design” to describe a community of practice – not a single profession. Designing effective experiences requires many different types of professionals with a broad range of knowledge. The community currently consists of design strategists and planners; brand strategists; user and usability researchers; information architects; information and graphic designers; and interface, interaction, and software designers.” which makes it sound very much like it might be a management/management consulting kind of thing.
And finally, reading “What has the AIGA Experience Design Community accomplished so far? “, it seems like it is a place for different related professions to talk to each other, mostly. Maybe they could solve the problem of what the aspects of ED are, and how they can be named, so we have a standard for communication. And the what is IA conversations will finally end.