Experience Design (7/8) - by Nathan Shedroff
One of the most important things to us, and one of the key components of interactivity, is the ability to create things. While we don't all think of ourselves as creative, in fact, we create things all of the time. Humans are inherently creative creatures and when we have a chance to create we feel more satisfied and valuable. Also, the products of our creation have a great deal of value to us, at least on a personal level.
Unfortunately, our culture tends to convince us that, mostly, we're not good enough to be creative-we can't sing well-enough, we don't know how to paint or write well, our homemade gifts are nice enough, and our homecooked food just doesn't compare. This is mostly true in terms of professional or commercial products, but in reality, homemade gifts are often valued much more than manufactured ones. Likewise, homecooked meals can usually beat all but the most expensive store-bought foods, and the products of our imaginations have a great deal of value to those who know and love us.
Often, creativity is an end unto itself, whether anyone else ever sees, experiences, or appreciates the output. We feel proud of our own creations-even if we covet them in seclusion. Therefore, experiences which allow us to be creative give us the same type of satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment.
To counter our fears and reluctance at being creative-as well as our worries that we may not be good enough-many experiences offer assistance and advice to help us make decisions and feel more confident. Co-creative (a term coined by Abbe Don) technologies are those that either offer assistance in the creation process or actually participate in the process by making some of the decisions and handling some of the details. The anxiety many people experience at not being accustomed to performing with unfamiliar tools or techniques can be lessened through co-creative techniques like recommendations, guidelines, advice, or actually performing operations for users.
Creativity is often thought of in terms of artistic expression and hobbies while productivity is most commonly associated with work and value-creation. In truth, there is no difference as each set of activities involves the creation of something. Those who identify primarily with the word creativity tend to abhor structure and look upon work as a limiting factor to their self-expression. Conversely those more comfortable with the term productivity tend to regard it as an efficient and valuable endeavor and are suspicious of "creative types" who, in their eyes, waste time being abstract, unproductive, and frivolous. The truth is that both groups are involved in the same activity whether they perceive it or not. Both find value in spending their time creating something important to themselves.
- Introduction: Elements of Experience Design
- Presentation & Organization
- Visualization & Design
- Designing the Total Experience
Revised: June 21, 2001
Created: June 21, 2001