In the past few years I’ve been working to create experience design artifacts for the purpose of teaching. It took a while because I needed to sort out all the noise. Eventually this work turned into an Innovation Design Model. I’m sharing this concept with you here.
My concept brings together mental models (see Indi Young’s book), experience design and business to organize the process and the work that we do as designers. My intention is to strengthen each discipline by creating more focus. I have created a LinkedIn group to start a conversation about this work and I’m hopeful you can join in and give me your thoughts. I will continue to expand on the subject.
The groupings I’ve created are well known with the exception of Circumstance Analysis. I have separated each grouping as its own discipline based on the concept of mental models. I don’t believe we are capable of placing random experience design activities into our tool belt just because we are experience design practitioners. I believe some of us are more capable in the data analysis side and others more capable in the human relationships side of design. But more on this later.
I have separated disciplines as follows:
(Ta) Task Analysis looks at tasks users need to accomplish, how those tasks are accomplished and the environmental circumstance at the time of the task completion. Task analysts conclude from their research that a particular user need is not satisfied properly and bring a product idea to the table with a general concept of what the product will do.
(Ca) Circumstance analysis is concerned with understanding everything that may affect your product based on the current state of its value network; that is all connections within the cost structure of your product. Circumstance analysts review the current circumstance and approve the product as feasible.
(Ga) Gamification analysis discovers the value of users and their activities as they relate to your product. It creates value systems that engage users to your product and extends those value systems to your broader set of customers. Gamification analysts identify feasible engagement strategies that would make the product successful.
(Ia) Information architecture is the art and science of organizing data to support usability. Information architects follow the product concept from the user’s perspective to determine what it looks like; that is, it has the appearance of the product.
(Id) Interaction design anticipates the behavior of users by defining artifacts, environments, and systems with the understanding of human emotion and relationships. Interaction designers create feelings of association between users and products.
(Ua) Usability analysis determines your product’s usability standards and tests against those standards to determine the level of ease or difficulty of use. Usability analysts create standards and guidelines that become what your product does as it is sent out into the market.
In order to focus disciplines I have made the following distinctions.
- Task analysis centers around what makes sense.
- Circumstance analysis centers around decision-making.
- Gamification analysis centers around user engagement.
- Information architecture centers around what [your product] looks like.
- Interaction design centers around what [your product] feels like.
- Usability is concerned with what [your product] does.
As Experience Design Director these distinctions help me organize skills around projects.
Next I will discuss the distinctions I made above so that you can see where this is headed.