Experience Design 2

The ultimate goal of the Designer is to deliver an Experience.

The game is not the experience. The game enables the experience, but it is not the experience. The experience rises out of the game. Ultimately, a game designer does not care about games. Games are merely a means to an end.

(Jesse Schell, The Art of Game Design)


Fragments from imaginary dialogues

“What do you mean by experience design?”

“I see my life as a beautiful modular Game, which is made up of a myriad of smaller life-games. I call it The Beautiful Game [<link; medium length]. 

The Beautiful Game is both a Game and a Meta-Game. I am both the Player and the Game Designer [<link; short].
As the Player, I’m playing the Game.
As the Designer, I’m playing the Meta-Game. 

Experience design is part of the Meta-Game. It’s a meaningful framework for creating experiences.”

“What is the essence of experience design?”

“There are two essential aspects to it:
Selecting Experiences
Beautifying Experiences

Selecting has to do with being selective, choosing the 20% most meaningful and enriching experiences you could possibly have – I call them the precious 20, in contrast with the lackluster 80 – and designing your life around them. 

By default, we do the lackluster 80 most of the time and the precious 20 from time to time. I say we reverse that, do the precious 20 most of the time and the lackluster 80 from time to time.”

“That’s very hard to do.”

“It’s not easy, but it’s something worth striving for.

Beautifying has to do with making the most of and enriching ANY experience you have.

You might think of the former as the Macro, and the latter as the Micro.

Fundamentally, experience design is the process of creating and (efficiently) using specific mental tools for achieving those ends.”

“How do you beautify an experience?”

“There are two aspects to the process:
Attention-directing [<link; medium]
Meaning

In practical terms, you can beautify an experience in two ways:
(1) By viewing it through a filter of Meaning.
(2) By increasing its Richness through making it Embodied and involving all senses: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory (VAKOG).

As concerns (1), I’m referring to two lenses [<link; medium] in particular:
Values
– a model I call Foreground/Background [<link; medium]

Values refers to a synergistic selection / stack of what I call instrumental Values, Values which, through directing Attention, have a practical effect in the moment. For me, those are:

Loving Play [<link; short]
Beauty [<link; short]
Simplicity
Gratitude

All these combined have an expansive emotional flooding effect.

Foreground/Background refers to metaphorically viewing the Micro experience – the foreground – against the Macro background-story of your life. For instance, I see my life as the Beautiful Game, which means every single experience is part of the Game. I actually say to myself:

This too is the Beautiful Game.

As concerns (2), you can metaphorically think of it as savoring.”

“A bit like how wine tasters savor their chosen experience?”

“Yes. However, unlike wine tasters, not limited to a very narrow range of experience. Developing the capacity to savor and find the Beauty in ANY experience.”

“Even highly unpleasant ones?”

“That’s that highest end of it.”

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About Dani Trusca

Life-Artist, Thinker, Mover (Traceur)

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