Experience Design

expdesRecently we have been brainstorming concepts and furiously writing new curriculum which we are going to teach at AFTRS in 2009. The work we have been doing at our Laboratory of Advanced Media Production has been influencing many of our new offerings in games, virtual environments and more generally in screen content. The process of rapid prototyping, user-centred design and iterative project development is something we have been seeking to firmly implant in the new curriculum. Came across this great definition of experience design from Nathan Shedroff via our own very talented designer Catherine Gleeson.

There are, at least, 6 dimensions to experiences: Time/Duration, Interactivity, Intensity, Breadth/Consistency, Sensorial and Cognitive Triggers, and Significance/Meaning. Together, these create an enormous palette of possibilities for creating effective, meaningful, and successful experiences.

The most important concept to grasp is that all experiences are important and that we can learn from them whether they are traditional, physical, offline experiences or whether they are digital, online, or other technological experiences. In fact, we know a great deal about experiences and their creation through these other established disciplines that can-and must-be used to develop new solutions. Most technological experiences-including digital and, especially, online experiences-have paled in comparison to real-world experiences and have been relatively unsuccessful as a result. What these solutions require is for their developers to understand what makes a good experience first, and then to translate these principles, as well as possible, into the desired media without the technology dictating the form of the experience.

Any new idea for a product or service should start with meaning and progress from there. These ideas are the basis of a Design MBA which is being run at the California College of the Arts which claims that Design is the Future of Business. A noble aim indeed which has a place in any future looking creative content educational program (or should that be experience)?

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