Usability as Feature

31 Jan 2007 - 4:18pm
7 years ago
32 replies
726 reads
Dante Murphy
2006

I'm branching from an earlier topic in which this statement was made:

"Maybe you can re-frame your usability improvements as features?"

I've thought about this several times in recent months while reading
this list. I wonder how many examples of this we can think of off the
top of our heads?

While I think that Jared's market maturity model is sometimes accurate,
I think that the entrenched marketing machines continue to look for ways
to promote "features" long after the product has entered the third
stage, thus the drive to create "features" that are really just
experiential improvements.

My nominations to the list:

1. One-touch recording on the DVR/VCR
2. Controls for radio mounted on car steering wheel
3. Heads-up display of speedometer on car

There must be thousands.

Your thoughts?

Comments

31 Jan 2007 - 7:16pm
.pauric
2006

Certainly, my company 'unified' a few of our commodified product
groups, one of the selling points is

"Ease of Use: Simple 5-click to set up wizard has a SMB network,
complete with wireless user access and management, up and running in
just 5 clicks."

Clearly, it takes a lot more than a few clicks to correctly enable a
medium sized network, but its interesting to see usability being
pushed in a predominantly technical environment. Its becoming a
differentiator against lower cost equivalents.

1 Feb 2007 - 8:33am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Jan 31, 2007, at 4:18 PM, Dante Murphy wrote:

> While I think that Jared's market maturity model is sometimes
> accurate,
> I think that the entrenched marketing machines continue to look for
> ways
> to promote "features" long after the product has entered the third
> stage, thus the drive to create "features" that are really just
> experiential improvements.
>
> My nominations to the list:
>
> 1. One-touch recording on the DVR/VCR
> 2. Controls for radio mounted on car steering wheel
> 3. Heads-up display of speedometer on car
>
> There must be thousands.
>
> Your thoughts?

Hi Dante,

I think you have the sequence of events reversed, as it pertains to
the model.

Incremental improvements, such as adding a simplification are still
in the feature/checklist stage. So, the items you discuss above are
likely to be still stage 2. And as you say, there are thousands of
"usability features" one can sell.

What distinguishes stage 2 from stage 3 is not how the development
organization dictates it's own agenda. The distinguishing difference
is when customers start rejecting features-laden products for
simpler, more productive products. Then you've made the transition.

Jared

Jared M. Spool
User Interface Engineering
510 Turnpike St., Suite 102, North Andover, MA 01845
e: jspool at uie.com p: +1 978 327 5561
http://uie.com Blog: http://uie.com/brainsparks

1 Feb 2007 - 8:58am
.pauric
2006

Jared "The distinguishing difference is when customers start rejecting
features-laden products for simpler, more productive products."

I dont disagree but where does the iPhone fall in to this scheme of things.
There seems to be a physical dimension to feature sets, that is 1 product
with 8 features is better than 2 products with 3 each.

And for some light humour, in case anyone's missed this poke at the iPhones
feeature list
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXNoB3t8vM>

1 Feb 2007 - 9:12am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 8:58 AM, pauric wrote:

> Jared "The distinguishing difference is when customers start rejecting
> features-laden products for simpler, more productive products."
>
> I dont disagree but where does the iPhone fall in to this scheme of
> things.
> There seems to be a physical dimension to feature sets, that is 1
> product
> with 8 features is better than 2 products with 3 each.

Don't know. The model is based on how customers respond to it. Since
the iPhone is just vaporware at this point, we don't know how people
will respond to the actual product.

So, it's hard to say at this point.

>
> And for some light humour, in case anyone's missed this poke at the
> iPhones
> feeature list
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXNoB3t8vM>

That was very funny.

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 9:19am
Dave Malouf
2005

I think the iPhone issue is a red herring. Yes there is more, but to do the
more is less. These are already music playing, emailing, web browsing PIM,
telephones out there, many that run on G3, and are a lot cheaper.

The "less" that iPhone is offering is in use. Less interface points on the
physical device. Apple isn't about less features. It is about less &
easier ways to use those features.

I think people should really take the short time it would take to read the
100 pages of Maeda's book on simplicity. Simplicity is not only about
reduction.

To combine threads here, Apple may not have the type of formal UCD practice
that we on this list might "hope for" but that doesn't mean that Apple is
not centered on the emathy of its users and the users they convert.

UCD is one type of set of design processes and but industrial design has
been making usable, useful, desireable, successful products for decades
before the PC and Internet existed.

This is the key success for Apple. Their lead designed comes out of the
European design schools and this is so apparent in their style change from
before Mr. I've to after.

UCD is not the key to their success but DESIGN.

Dave

...... Original Message .......
On Thu, 1 Feb 2007 08:58:52 -0500 pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>Jared "The distinguishing difference is when customers start rejecting
>features-laden products for simpler, more productive products."
>
>I dont disagree but where does the iPhone fall in to this scheme of things.
>There seems to be a physical dimension to feature sets, that is 1 product
>with 8 features is better than 2 products with 3 each.
>
>And for some light humour, in case anyone's missed this poke at the iPhones
>feeature list
><http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xXNoB3t8vM>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
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___
David Malouf
dave (at) ixda.org
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 9:27am
.pauric
2006

Ok then, time for a little blasphemy. Is the ultimate goal to make the
ideal user's life a little easier or to sell products to pay our bills?

Bear in mind, a lot of people want to look cool at the expense of comfort.
See; high fashion, VW beetle, Apple Laptops

1 Feb 2007 - 9:40am
.pauric
2006

"UCD is not the key to their success but DESIGN."

exactly, and design is not about addressing user's needs alone. Design must
address their desires. And, user's desires are not always aligned with
their needs, requirements, use cases etc

Let me preface the next statement by stating I'm an Apple user. I have
found all of their products to have more form than function.

>From limited battery life, to the annoying right angle on the laptops that
eat in to my wrists as I type. But what do I care, I've bought in to the
brand... which is another part of the all encompassing realm of Design,
again not necessarily aligned with UCD.

1 Feb 2007 - 9:46am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 9:27 AM, pauric wrote:

> Ok then, time for a little blasphemy. Is the ultimate goal to make
> the
> ideal user's life a little easier or to sell products to pay our
> bills?

I'm sorry. At what point did they become mutually exclusive?

:)

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 9:51am
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 9:40 AM, pauric wrote:

> "UCD is not the key to their success but DESIGN."
>
> exactly, and design is not about addressing user's needs alone.
> Design must
> address their desires. And, user's desires are not always aligned
> with
> their needs, requirements, use cases etc

Pauric,

With all due respect, I think you're splitting hairs.

I'd recommend a re-reading of Maslow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 9:57am
Dave Malouf
2005

Thanx Jared,

i would also say that UCD is not the only way to understand the user.
Design practices have used empathy gathering techniques for years to
understand why they are designing what they are designing and for whom.

UCD is very engineering oriented in its approach as it is very linear and
systematic compared to much of other design research techniques.

-- dave

Jared M. Spool wrote:
>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 9:40 AM, pauric wrote:
>
>> "UCD is not the key to their success but DESIGN."
>>
>> exactly, and design is not about addressing user's needs alone.
>> Design must
>> address their desires. And, user's desires are not always aligned
>> with
>> their needs, requirements, use cases etc
>
> Pauric,
>
> With all due respect, I think you're splitting hairs.
>
> I'd recommend a re-reading of Maslow: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
> Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
>
> Jared
> ________________________________________________________________
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--
--
David Malouf
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http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 10:32am
AlokJain
2006

>> This is the key success for Apple. Their lead designed comes out of the
>>European design schools and this is so apparent in their style change from
>>before Mr. I've to after.

I think the fundamental reason for success of apple products is leadership,
we always talk about Sr. Management buy-in into user centered design
(keeping process aside) as a must for success of products, and here is a
company where CEO is driven by that. I am neutral about whether European
design influence has helped or not, but I think that's possible in any large
organization, it's the leadership which helps realize the possibility in
case of apple (an other companies like google, 37 signals..).

--
Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.iPrincipia.com

1 Feb 2007 - 10:43am
Mark Schraad
2006

I believe the fundamental reason for Apple's success is failure.

Mark

On Thursday, February 01, 2007, at 10:40AM, "Alok Jain" <alok.ajain1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> This is the key success for Apple. Their lead designed comes out of the
>>>European design schools and this is so apparent in their style change from
>>>before Mr. I've to after.
>
>I think the fundamental reason for success of apple products is leadership,
>we always talk about Sr. Management buy-in into user centered design
>(keeping process aside) as a must for success of products, and here is a
>company where CEO is driven by that. I am neutral about whether European
>design influence has helped or not, but I think that's possible in any large
>organization, it's the leadership which helps realize the possibility in
>case of apple (an other companies like google, 37 signals..).
>
>--
>Best Regards
>Alok Jain
>----------------------------------------------------------
>http://www.iPrincipia.com
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>(Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>

1 Feb 2007 - 10:24am
.pauric
2006

In terms of software design then yes, I am. Who in their right mind gets
emotional about their email client or word processor? However in
product/industrial design I'll cite a few examples of form over function

The Chelsea tractor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_tractor
A $5K Rolex is less accurate than a $50 timex
My G4 laptop is more expensive, heavier, less powerful and has a shorter
battery life compared to my equivalent thinkpad, yet is more desirable.

Maybe I'm a little too cynical but I see a world of products which sell well
and have little to do with functionality, simplicity, usability and a lot to
do with branding & desirability. Think about iPod ads for a moment, they
dont talk about how the product is going to make your life better, not in
the same way this Novell page covers functionality, usability and comparison
with similar products
<http://www.novell.com/products/desktop/compare-to-vista.html>

In fact the iPods have succeeded against all odds: Short battery life
resulting from extra CPU cycles decoding DRM encrpytion. Not very durable
but command a premium price tag. Form over function at the expense of a
better experience.

Yes, they arent mutually exclusive but are they mutually dependent? The
iPhone will sell like hotcakes and I'll buy you dinner if it doesnt have
poor battery & reception along with the knowns of applications and service
lock-in. Tell me how those are part of 'good' design.

I would say that desires and needs are unrelated for all intents and
purposes.

1 Feb 2007 - 11:49am
Dave Malouf
2005

> I think the fundamental reason for success of apple products is
> leadership,
> we always talk about Sr. Management buy-in into user centered design
> (keeping process aside) as a must for success of products, and here is a
> company where CEO is driven by that. I am neutral about whether European
> design influence has helped or not, but I think that's possible in any
> large
> organization, it's the leadership which helps realize the possibility in
> case of apple (an other companies like google, 37 signals..).

Leadership is definitely key, but you need the people to be able to
execute that leadership and you need to have methods and processes that
thus people who are executing use to be able to take that leadership
forward.

I say all 3 are equal in this case.

-- dave

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 11:54am
.pauric
2006

Jared, I've read that Maslow's theory a few times and its only confirming
what I believe. So there is a disconnect between us, I'll place that
squarely on my inexperienced, uneducated dyslexic shoulders. So let me take
another stab at why I feel making someone's life easier and shifting boxes
are not mutually dependent. Or in other words, the 'experience' can be
devoid of much sensible application of function.

Here's what I'm taking away from Maslow;
My understanding of Form is addressing our Aesthetic and Esteem needs as
described by Maslow
And Function is addressing the categories of Safety. E.g. will the feature
on this phone help me perform my job. Will listening to portable music make
me more happy and therefore able to survive better in this busy modern
world?

I feel Apple play one off the other. I, the potential high-end gadget
purchaser, can justify my desire for the product by checking off
requirements on the function side. No one wants to admit their
insecurities, their desire to 'fit in'. But if I can convince myself that
by purchasing an iPhone I'll be able to make it to meetings on time and make
phone calls more easily, generally become a better person living a more
organised life, when in reality I'm succumbing to my insecurities about my
appearance to others, then I'll fork out the the $1800 for a two year iPhone
contract versus what I current pay.

regards - pauric

p.s. from the SUV wiki, if I make emphasize the the form over function
argument and hope you see the similarities with high-end gadgets.

"The size and weight appealing to insecurity on the road, or a desire to be
respected through one's vehicle. According to market research conducted by
the auto industry, SUV buyers tend to be people who are insecure about
relationships, concerned about their appearance, and lack confidence in
their driving skills." (Keith Bradsher, 2001)"

1 Feb 2007 - 12:37pm
Robert Hoekman, Jr.
2005

> > Ok then, time for a little blasphemy. Is the ultimate goal to make
> > the
> > ideal user's life a little easier or to sell products to pay our
> > bills?
>
> I'm sorry. At what point did they become mutually exclusive?

Exactly.

The goal, I believe, is to pay our bills by selling products that make our
users' lives easier.

-r-

1 Feb 2007 - 12:47pm
Dave Malouf
2005

> Exactly.
>
> The goal, I believe, is to pay our bills by selling products that make our
> users' lives easier.

While I agree with the sentiment here and believe that this is an
overarching goal of good UX design, I would say that there are definitely
times when the business process needs are counter to the needs of the
end-users. I.e. there are other stakeholders besides the end-users who's
lives are being made easier which makes end-user (or a different set of
end-user's) lives more difficult.

This happens a ton in enterprise software. Now we as good designers need
to really challenge all these moments, but often (more than I'd like to
think) the conflict is real.

-- dave

--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 1:07pm
.pauric
2006

And its great when the stars and the moon align. Was GoDaddy languishing in
obscurity before they realized the badly needed you? Will 3Com continue to
turn over a loss even though we have best in class web interfaces?

A designer does not sell products. A team that includes marketing,
engineering, program management & sales do. Each bring their own to the
recipe of a successful product. All I'm saying is that we are part of a
bigger picture and no matter how hard or well we apply our skills we are not
the be-all and end-all of product's success. There are things that follow
on from this but my needle is edging towards rant.. I shall go for a walk
(o;

On 2/1/07, Robert Hoekman, Jr. <rhoekmanjr at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
> > Ok then, time for a little blasphemy. Is the ultimate goal to make
> > > the
> > > ideal user's life a little easier or to sell products to pay our
> > > bills?
> >
> > I'm sorry. At what point did they become mutually exclusive?
>
>
> Exactly.
>
> The goal, I believe, is to pay our bills by selling products that make our
> users' lives easier.
>
> -r-
>
>

--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

1 Feb 2007 - 1:25pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 12:47 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> While I agree with the sentiment here and believe that this is an
> overarching goal of good UX design, I would say that there are
> definitely
> times when the business process needs are counter to the needs of the
> end-users. I.e. there are other stakeholders besides the end-users
> who's
> lives are being made easier which makes end-user (or a different
> set of
> end-user's) lives more difficult.
>
> This happens a ton in enterprise software. Now we as good designers
> need
> to really challenge all these moments, but often (more than I'd
> like to
> think) the conflict is real.

David,

If the business process's needs trump the end users' need, its only
because the market supports that activity. However, in the long run,
all that does is open up opportunities to meet *both* business-
process needs and end-user needs.

Inotherwords, while the condition you describe does exist for short
periods in enterprise software, history has repeatedly shown that it
doesn't last long. Eventually, if the market has potential, someone
will introduce a next-generation solution that fills the gap.

This is the traditional transition point from feature-based design
(stage 2 in the Market Maturity Model) to productivity-based design
(stage 3).

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 1:19pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 11:54 AM, pauric wrote:

> Jared, I've read that Maslow's theory a few times and its only
> confirming
> what I believe. So there is a disconnect between us, I'll place that
> squarely on my inexperienced, uneducated dyslexic shoulders. So
> let me take
> another stab at why I feel making someone's life easier and
> shifting boxes
> are not mutually dependent. Or in other words, the 'experience' can be
> devoid of much sensible application of function.

Like I said, I think you're splitting hairs.

As I parse it, your argument comes down to your definition of
"sensible application of function."

I would say that a designed attribute of the product that caters to
desires of the user is a "sensible application of function" and
desire is just a type of need. In that case, we're in agreement.

It's only through your insistence that somehow these things are
separate and therefore there is a distinction. Whether they are
separate or the same, we agree on the result: experience encompasses
meeting "desires" along with everything else.

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 1:59pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Feb 1, 2007, at 10:24 AM, pauric wrote:

> In fact the iPods have succeeded against all odds: Short battery life
> resulting from extra CPU cycles decoding DRM encrpytion. Not very
> durable
> but command a premium price tag. Form over function at the
> expense of a
> better experience.

Pauric,

All of your points here are very arguable.

I have found battery life to be quite respectable. The vast majority
of my music doesn't have DRM encryption.
I have found the iPod to be very durable. Mine is going on 3 years
old, still has somewhere between 4 and 6 hours of battery life, and
runs fine. And I certainly don't understand why you think it is an
example of form over function. It's user experience is its biggest
selling point.

As for buying things due to insecurity or to be part of the hip
crowd, I could care less. It became popular because it was a good
product, and therefore became fashionable.

Jack

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

The public is more familiar with
bad design than good design.
It is, in effect, conditioned
to prefer bad design, because
that is what it lives with.
The new becomes threatening,
the old reassuring.

- Paul Rand

1 Feb 2007 - 1:59pm
.pauric
2006

Lets agree to disagree on the thickness of the hair (o;

Are you saying the desire we currently have to get our hands on an iPhone
started on a designers desk? That the 'buzz' which feeds desire is an aspect
of design? Or when Sir Alec Issigonis sketched the first Mini back in '59 he
had any idea it would be a desirable vehicle in the following century? And
given that car was borne out of practical need, and very much less so these
days do you still agree there's a hairs gap between needs and experience?
function and desire?

If the relationship between function and desire is variable while the design
is constant*, I propose the link is less than you suggest.

I would disagree that desire is another need. We recognize our own needs,
they are our personal requirements and as such a quantifiable design
element. To some extent we are slaves to our desires, they rise up from our
subconscious and make us do irrational things like throw away perfectly
working mobile phones every 18 months.

I dont doubt you have a very good handle on the black art of creating
desire. But it is just that, 'created' not designed. I desire art, it has
no function it cannot be designed. Apple has a good track record of making
products that border on being works of art.

*(bar the upgrade by bmw, safety. I still prefer the older model, its was
much more fun to drive)

1 Feb 2007 - 2:32pm
.pauric
2006

You are right to question, my responses..
"I have found battery life to be quite respectable."
14 hours (the 30GB 5G
iPod<http://dw.com.com/redir?oid=4520-6450_7-6462771-1&ontid=6450&siteid=7&edid=3&lop=txt&destcat=apple&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eapple%2Ecom%2Fipod%2Fspecs%2Ehtml>)
or up to 35 hours of audio playback (the 30GB Cowon iAudio
X5L<http://dw.com.com/redir?oid=4520-6450_7-6462771-1&ontid=6450&siteid=7&edid=3&lop=txt&destcat=cowonamerica&destUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fonlinestore%2Ecowonamerica%2Ecom%2Findex%2Easp%3FPageAction%3DVIEWPROD%26ProdID%3D204>).
Effectively the same product feature wise. I own both, I exclusively use the
cowon.

"I have found the iPod to be very durable."
I would use the number of after market cases as indication there is a strong
demand to stop the device from being scratched. I buy broken iPods off ebay
and repair them as cheap gifts for friends and family. In my research I've
found the top 3 issues to be damaged HDs, broken screens and broken
3.5mmjacks in that order. <
http://www.instructables.com/id/ED7GAEGMFLEP286C30/> With that in mind my
preferred device is a Cowon because its more durable, longer lasting and has
practical features such as favourites randomisation, not found on iPods.

"It's user experience is its biggest selling point."
No, I would say mindshare is the largest reason for its current popularity,
and that was borne out of a must-have design not experience. While it
certainly has a well designed experience it falls prey to a fundamental flaw
- not to trust the user. Be that any of the 2 billion songs brought through
itunes that cannot be played on anything other that an apple product (lock
in) to the abstract limitation on how many times legally purchased media can
be shared even though its fair use.

Just because apple had the wherewithal to to lock users in to its music
platform before anyone else did, which led to sexy Bose docks and funky
covers does not mean you're get the best experience. In my honest opinion.

On 2/1/07, Jack Moffett <jmoffett at inmedius.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 10:24 AM, pauric wrote:
>
> > In fact the iPods have succeeded against all odds: Short battery life
> > resulting from extra CPU cycles decoding DRM encrpytion. Not very
> > durable
> > but command a premium price tag. Form over function at the
> > expense of a
> > better experience.
>
> Pauric,
>
> All of your points here are very arguable.
>
> I have found battery life to be quite respectable. The vast majority
> of my music doesn't have DRM encryption.
> I have found the iPod to be very durable. Mine is going on 3 years
> old, still has somewhere between 4 and 6 hours of battery life, and
> runs fine. And I certainly don't understand why you think it is an
> example of form over function. It's user experience is its biggest
> selling point.
>
> As for buying things due to insecurity or to be part of the hip
> crowd, I could care less. It became popular because it was a good
> product, and therefore became fashionable.
>
> Jack
>
>
>
> Jack L. Moffett
> Interaction Designer
> inmedius
> 412.459.0310 x219
> http://www.inmedius.com
>
>
> The public is more familiar with
> bad design than good design.
> It is, in effect, conditioned
> to prefer bad design, because
> that is what it lives with.
> The new becomes threatening,
> the old reassuring.
>
> - Paul Rand
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

1 Feb 2007 - 2:31pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Pauric,

"Experience Design" is all aobut this topic. It talks about emotional and
experiential design.

But brand is ALL about creating desire for things that really have no real
purpose for us. Coke makes me feel better than Pepsi; And while the Mini
has REAL functional requirements back in the 50's it was not the ONLY
small car to come out of the 50's & 60's and its aesthetic form had and
has a lot to do with its success.

I find it hard to believe that you think that design does not have
emotional qualities to its craft? To me emotion, desire, engagement,
aesthetics is a key attribute that separates design as a truly empathic
discipline as opposed to engineering which ignores or at least diminishes
the emotional response value to creation, conception, and production.

-- dave

pauric wrote:
> Lets agree to disagree on the thickness of the hair (o;
>
> Are you saying the desire we currently have to get our hands on an iPhone
> started on a designers desk? That the 'buzz' which feeds desire is an
> aspect
> of design? Or when Sir Alec Issigonis sketched the first Mini back in '59
> he
> had any idea it would be a desirable vehicle in the following century?
> And
> given that car was borne out of practical need, and very much less so
> these
> days do you still agree there's a hairs gap between needs and experience?
> function and desire?
>
> If the relationship between function and desire is variable while the
> design
> is constant*, I propose the link is less than you suggest.
>
> I would disagree that desire is another need. We recognize our own needs,
> they are our personal requirements and as such a quantifiable design
> element. To some extent we are slaves to our desires, they rise up from
> our
> subconscious and make us do irrational things like throw away perfectly
> working mobile phones every 18 months.
>
> I dont doubt you have a very good handle on the black art of creating
> desire. But it is just that, 'created' not designed. I desire art, it
> has
> no function it cannot be designed. Apple has a good track record of
> making
> products that border on being works of art.
>
> *(bar the upgrade by bmw, safety. I still prefer the older model, its was
> much more fun to drive)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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>

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 2:27pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Jared M. Spool wrote:
>
> Inotherwords, while the condition you describe does exist for short
> periods in enterprise software, history has repeatedly shown that it
> doesn't last long. Eventually, if the market has potential, someone
> will introduce a next-generation solution that fills the gap.
>
> This is the traditional transition point from feature-based design
> (stage 2 in the Market Maturity Model) to productivity-based design
> (stage 3).

I think there are always business needs that conflict with user needs.
I.e. what user WANTS to pay for something, let alone go through a checkout
system that requires that payment process. Now, I'm sure there will be
ways invented to make this easier in the future through retinal eye-scans
that tie DNA sequences to bank-accounts, but there will always be
exception processing, i.e. "Your broke!!!!" ...

In the enterprise world the equivalent is authentication management.
In workflow process management there are a ton of flows that exist (are
created) for the benefit of others who are not using that workflow. Most
of these surround issues of trust management that I don't see going away
but due to issues of Sax-Ox and the SEC will increase over time.

While I agree some enterprise issues DO lead to great design challenges
and marketing opportunities, after 10 years in the enterprise and b2b
space I can safely say that the glacial speed of improvements in this area
means that for all practical purposes we will continue to have
requirements from one user set that is in contradiction to another user
set.

How to make the group on the negative side feel better about them, or
persuade them to do it in a captology sense I guess is the design
direction we should think about in these scenarios.

-- dave

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 2:52pm
.pauric
2006

"I find it hard to believe that you think that design does not have
emotional qualities to its craft?"

I completely agree 100%. Its the difference between a good designer and a
great one. Its the 'je nais sais que' aspect that cannot be learned at
school. Its the designer's intuition. You can do all the UCD you want in
the world and still fail at making a product people want. How much does MS
spend on UCD v Apple? and who makes killer desirable products?

"design as a truly empathic discipline as opposed to engineering"

Again - yes, 100%. But the impression I was getting from Jared is that
there is a formula, specifically when he said "I would say that a designed
attribute of the product that caters to desires of the user is a "sensible
application of function" and desire is just a type of need."

There is not rote formula for creating desirable products. It takes an
innate understanding of the qualities you describe "emotion, desire,
engagement, aesthetics" I will accept an 80/20 rule on arriving at this.

Not wanting to pick on someone I have so much respect for but he also said
"Since the iPhone is just vaporware at this point, we don't know how people
will respond to the actual product."

But we already do know how people will respond. Thats a given. Apple's
talent is completing the final 20%.

On 2/1/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>
> Pauric,
>
> "Experience Design" is all aobut this topic. It talks about emotional and
> experiential design.
>
> But brand is ALL about creating desire for things that really have no real
> purpose for us. Coke makes me feel better than Pepsi; And while the Mini
> has REAL functional requirements back in the 50's it was not the ONLY
> small car to come out of the 50's & 60's and its aesthetic form had and
> has a lot to do with its success.
>
> I find it hard to believe that you think that design does not have
> emotional qualities to its craft? To me emotion, desire, engagement,
> aesthetics is a key attribute that separates design as a truly empathic
> discipline as opposed to engineering which ignores or at least diminishes
> the emotional response value to creation, conception, and production.
>
> -- dave
>
> pauric wrote:
> > Lets agree to disagree on the thickness of the hair (o;
> >
> > Are you saying the desire we currently have to get our hands on an
> iPhone
> > started on a designers desk? That the 'buzz' which feeds desire is an
> > aspect
> > of design? Or when Sir Alec Issigonis sketched the first Mini back in
> '59
> > he
> > had any idea it would be a desirable vehicle in the following century?
> > And
> > given that car was borne out of practical need, and very much less so
> > these
> > days do you still agree there's a hairs gap between needs and
> experience?
> > function and desire?
> >
> > If the relationship between function and desire is variable while the
> > design
> > is constant*, I propose the link is less than you suggest.
> >
> > I would disagree that desire is another need. We recognize our own
> needs,
> > they are our personal requirements and as such a quantifiable design
> > element. To some extent we are slaves to our desires, they rise up from
> > our
> > subconscious and make us do irrational things like throw away perfectly
> > working mobile phones every 18 months.
> >
> > I dont doubt you have a very good handle on the black art of creating
> > desire. But it is just that, 'created' not designed. I desire art, it
> > has
> > no function it cannot be designed. Apple has a good track record of
> > making
> > products that border on being works of art.
> >
> > *(bar the upgrade by bmw, safety. I still prefer the older model, its
> was
> > much more fun to drive)
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
> >
>
>
> --
> --
> David Malouf
> dave at ixda.org
> http://ixda.org/
>
>

--
Job type: In house
Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli

1 Feb 2007 - 3:06pm
Dave Malouf
2005

Ah!!! i see what you are saying.

But there are processes for working through emotional responses to
aesthetics within Design, and there are processes for modeling emotional
qualities of personas (if you will in a broad sense).

I think there is more of a jump than you get with functional-based pieces
of the equation, but before you leap a good designer has done research to
help them achieve their empathy with the problem audience.

I do think there are things that are learned.

on the IAI list, I have also posited recently that through mentorship this
is precisely that type of intangible part of the skillset that we learn.
You also learn this in good studio courses, and finally through decades of
experience.

some people tap into this a lot quick and better than others, but this is
true for aspects of almost any discipline. I.e. lawyers are taught how to
argue, but not everyone is a Johnny Cochran and they become divorce or
corporate lawyers. ;) with Doctors it is very similar as well.

Even Rabbis and other clergy go through courses that teach them how to be
empathic and speak in reserved tones. Again, some are more open to these
lessons than others and do better at them, but everyone can be taught.

-- dave

pauric wrote:
> "I find it hard to believe that you think that design does not have
> emotional qualities to its craft?"
>
> I completely agree 100%. Its the difference between a good designer and a
> great one. Its the 'je nais sais que' aspect that cannot be learned at
> school. Its the designer's intuition. You can do all the UCD you want in
> the world and still fail at making a product people want. How much does
> MS
> spend on UCD v Apple? and who makes killer desirable products?
>
> "design as a truly empathic discipline as opposed to engineering"
>
> Again - yes, 100%. But the impression I was getting from Jared is that
> there is a formula, specifically when he said "I would say that a designed
> attribute of the product that caters to desires of the user is a "sensible
> application of function" and desire is just a type of need."
>
> There is not rote formula for creating desirable products. It takes an
> innate understanding of the qualities you describe "emotion, desire,
> engagement, aesthetics" I will accept an 80/20 rule on arriving at this.
>
> Not wanting to pick on someone I have so much respect for but he also said
> "Since the iPhone is just vaporware at this point, we don't know how
> people
> will respond to the actual product."
>
> But we already do know how people will respond. Thats a given. Apple's
> talent is completing the final 20%.
>
>
> On 2/1/07, David Malouf <dave at ixda.org> wrote:
>>
>> Pauric,
>>
>> "Experience Design" is all aobut this topic. It talks about emotional
>> and
>> experiential design.
>>
>> But brand is ALL about creating desire for things that really have no
>> real
>> purpose for us. Coke makes me feel better than Pepsi; And while the Mini
>> has REAL functional requirements back in the 50's it was not the ONLY
>> small car to come out of the 50's & 60's and its aesthetic form had and
>> has a lot to do with its success.
>>
>> I find it hard to believe that you think that design does not have
>> emotional qualities to its craft? To me emotion, desire, engagement,
>> aesthetics is a key attribute that separates design as a truly empathic
>> discipline as opposed to engineering which ignores or at least
>> diminishes
>> the emotional response value to creation, conception, and production.
>>
>> -- dave
>>
>> pauric wrote:
>> > Lets agree to disagree on the thickness of the hair (o;
>> >
>> > Are you saying the desire we currently have to get our hands on an
>> iPhone
>> > started on a designers desk? That the 'buzz' which feeds desire is an
>> > aspect
>> > of design? Or when Sir Alec Issigonis sketched the first Mini back in
>> '59
>> > he
>> > had any idea it would be a desirable vehicle in the following century?
>> > And
>> > given that car was borne out of practical need, and very much less so
>> > these
>> > days do you still agree there's a hairs gap between needs and
>> experience?
>> > function and desire?
>> >
>> > If the relationship between function and desire is variable while the
>> > design
>> > is constant*, I propose the link is less than you suggest.
>> >
>> > I would disagree that desire is another need. We recognize our own
>> needs,
>> > they are our personal requirements and as such a quantifiable design
>> > element. To some extent we are slaves to our desires, they rise up
>> from
>> > our
>> > subconscious and make us do irrational things like throw away
>> perfectly
>> > working mobile phones every 18 months.
>> >
>> > I dont doubt you have a very good handle on the black art of creating
>> > desire. But it is just that, 'created' not designed. I desire art,
>> it
>> > has
>> > no function it cannot be designed. Apple has a good track record of
>> > making
>> > products that border on being works of art.
>> >
>> > *(bar the upgrade by bmw, safety. I still prefer the older model, its
>> was
>> > much more fun to drive)
>> > ________________________________________________________________
>> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> > List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> > List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> > Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> > Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> > Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>> >
>>
>>
>> --
>> --
>> David Malouf
>> dave at ixda.org
>> http://ixda.org/
>>
>>
>
>
> --
> Job type: In house
> Field: Embedded & physical interfaces. Web/cli
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>

--
--
David Malouf
dave at ixda.org
http://ixda.org/

1 Feb 2007 - 3:15pm
.pauric
2006

"but everyone can be taught."

apologies, you are very right. And Jared too, but dont tell I said so. (o;

1 Feb 2007 - 5:11pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 2:27 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> In the enterprise world the equivalent is authentication management.
> In workflow process management there are a ton of flows that exist
> (are
> created) for the benefit of others who are not using that workflow.
> Most
> of these surround issues of trust management that I don't see going
> away
> but due to issues of Sax-Ox and the SEC will increase over time.

It sounds like your assumption is these constraints (Sar-Box
compliance, SEC regulations) do not permit creativity. I don't have
the same assumption. I believe that design is about coming up with
novel solutions within a constrained problem space.

Even the problem you say that people don't want to pay for things
isn't true, as people throw money at the most frivolous of
activities. People want a good deal and if they perceive they are
getting one, are very willing to throw money at it. Again, creating
the perception of a good deal is a design problem.

Just because we don't know today how to make this work doesn't mean a
creative solution is impossible.

Jared

1 Feb 2007 - 5:35pm
Jared M. Spool
2003

On Feb 1, 2007, at 2:31 PM, David Malouf wrote:

> "Experience Design" is all aobut this topic. It talks about
> emotional and
> experiential design.

Yah. What David said. Exactly. (Well, I'd probably spell "aobut"
differently.)

>
> But brand is ALL about creating desire for things that really have
> no real
> purpose for us. Coke makes me feel better than Pepsi; And while the
> Mini
> has REAL functional requirements back in the 50's it was not the ONLY
> small car to come out of the 50's & 60's and its aesthetic form had
> and
> has a lot to do with its success.

Whoa! Let's not bring "brand" into this. It's already a silly
conversation. Brand has nothing to do with any of this and trying to
introduce it into the discussion now will only make the conversation
sillier.

People have the needs. Their desires are latent needs, but needs none-
the-less. The best designers know how to create designs that feed
these desire-needs.

Of course, basic needs must be met first. The Mini wouldn't have
succeeded if it didn't serve a basic transportation need. The reason
I won't yet discuss the iPhone is because we don't know if it meets
basic needs for communicating.

Sometimes, a designer hits upon a design that just works by accident.
Sometimes, that same designer can't repeat their success and become a
one-shot wonder. But, out there, in the world, are designers who
regularly create designs that play into the desire-needs of their
audience. And those folks are the ones we should learn from, because
what they have to teach us can be very valuable.

Now, can we end this silliness?

:)

Jared

2 Feb 2007 - 2:21am
cfmdesigns
2004

Would you expand on this aphorism, Mark? I'm not sure just what you
mean, whether you're being cute or serious/

On Feb 1, 2007, at 7:43 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:

> I believe the fundamental reason for Apple's success is failure.
>
> Mark
>
>
> On Thursday, February 01, 2007, at 10:40AM, "Alok Jain"
> <alok.ajain1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> This is the key success for Apple. Their lead designed comes out
>>>> of the
>>>> European design schools and this is so apparent in their style
>>>> change from
>>>> before Mr. I've to after.
>>
>> I think the fundamental reason for success of apple products is
>> leadership,

2 Feb 2007 - 7:02am
Mark Schraad
2006

I am absolutely serious. Industry leading companies typically invest
heavily in R&D, make bold moves in the marketplace and periodically
fail. Apple is certainly one of those companies. Add to that they
have great design talent, product vision and cache. Those four
attributes are the formula for their success. Design and for that
matter innovation, can not be managed in the same fashion as
accounting or manufacturing. Six sigma does not increase the
effectiveness of design. We must take risks, we must fail on
occasion - other wise we gain little if anything.

I read something recently which I wish I could attribute, but I have
forgotten where it came from. Paraphrasing, "failure is like the
whitespace that surrounds and defines success."

Mark

On Feb 2, 2007, at 2:21 AM, Jim Drew wrote:

> Would you expand on this aphorism, Mark? I'm not sure just what you
> mean, whether you're being cute or serious/
>
>
> On Feb 1, 2007, at 7:43 AM, Mark Schraad wrote:
>
>> I believe the fundamental reason for Apple's success is failure.
>>
>> Mark
>>
>>
>> On Thursday, February 01, 2007, at 10:40AM, "Alok Jain"
>> <alok.ajain1 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> This is the key success for Apple. Their lead designed comes out
>>>>> of the
>>>>> European design schools and this is so apparent in their style
>>>>> change from
>>>>> before Mr. I've to after.
>>>
>>> I think the fundamental reason for success of apple products is
>>> leadership,

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