Experience (XP) Design
What is Experience Design?
Experience Design – or ‘XP’ Design – is the Art and Act of creating a brand’s business, marketing and promotional assets – such as it’s Website, In-store displays, email marketing or mobile app. XP Design is concerned not only with the Design (layouts, typography etc) of these assets, but the User Experience of the assets.
Within XP Design we consider Ux Design (User Experience Design), IxD (Interaction Design), Interface Design and others as critical to defining how users are expected to engage with, use and experience the brand, through a physical or virtual interaction.
Where Experience Strategy is How things are connected, Experience Design defines What the connected assets are – how they function, what they “do” and how they look, act and feel.
Experience Design is the execution of an Experience Strategy. In football terms; The Strategy defines the playing field, player positions and movement of the ball between them, the Design determines the optimal shape, size and character of each player. When the right player gets the ball at the right time, to run the play (strategy), the team wins.
In essence, strategy and design work hand in hand to deliver the brand experience; turning high-level Vision into tactical Execution. XP Design is the art of making ideas functional, crafting beautiful human experiences that customers are excited to use.
In football terms; The (XP) strategy defines the playing field, player positions and movement of the ball between them, the (XP) design determines the optimal shape, size and character of each player.
So how do businesses craft compelling brand experiences? How can they turn their Vision into beautifully executed interactions – displays, apps, retail spaces, websites or brands?
Design Thinking – a term coined by design firm IDEO – is the concept of designing with the end user in mind. In fact, more than keeping them in mind, design thinking is a highly targeted and specific design process that takes into consideration the actual behaviours, tendencies and needs of the target audience.
Insights are gathered through research, analysis and deep understanding of the intended user. Removing any guesswork, designers can then create solutions that solve specific (and often overlooked) problems, and correlate to actual usage patterns, tendencies or behaviours.
Design thinking is a massive driver of innovation, as novel design opportunities often arise from the deeper insights gathered by observing how users actually perform certain tasks.
For example, it’s easy to assume that a user will tap a certain button on a mobile app, or know how to swipe to find a navigation item, but under real-world conditions the actual interaction might differ from what’s expected.
With knowledge in-hand, designers can craft interactions that play on a user’s preferences – a tap replacing a swipe, or positioning a screen on the left of a retail display case, rather than the right. These are intricacies that can only become known through the diligence of observing actual human interaction with the experience.
Applying design thinking in this way also leads to greater agility for the business – allowing them to move through multiple ideas, iterations & prototypes of ideas, while testing in real-time, until the final, most viable solution presents itself.
By understanding the end-user, deeper exploration is possible, leading to more creative brainstorming, and the ability to rapid-prototype solutions, re-test, iterate, and develop the solution that most optimially ties intuitive user experience to desired business results.
Finding the Innovation Hotspot
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Design Thinking provides an infinite and scalable approach to solution design. [click to expand]
IDEO Innovation Brainstorming
Business Thinking vs Design Thinking: Traditional models result in fewer, and less personalised solutions. [click to expand]
By understanding actual user behaviours & expectations, designers have more freedom to Innovate, Explore new design opportunities & Develop more creative solutions than would be possible without such personal insights.
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