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Experiencing Design


The first thing that came to me when I thought of combining experience and design was the idea of a museum. That’s what a museum is all about. They are designed in a way to maximize your experience. A museum’s primary goal is not to stun, to enrage, or to force viewers into some existential crisis; a museum aims to educate in an aesthetically pleasing way. Thus, just as much emphasis is placed on the design as the experience.

An experience has three parts: attraction, engagement, and conclusion. We can be attracted to an experience by any of our senses, but in order for this experience to engage us it must stand out from the rest of our cognitive input. The conclusion of an experience is what gives us the result of satisfaction. For me, it’s when a movie ends well, or I finish my workout without dying, or I feel full after eating. When we don’t reach a satisfactory ending, we are disoriented and unhappy (think of when you go to the DH and there is absolutely nothing there you want to eat or SPOILER ALERT: what happened to Dumbledore at the end of book 6).

It doesn’t really look this good…


An extension of an experience means that there are multiple engagements of attention and multiple satisfactory conclusions, all strung together to create a larger meaning than any one conclusion could have given. The best example I can think of for this would be a TV series, or movies with sequels, or book trilogies. It is satisfying to read each book, but together they create an overarching meaning that we wouldn’t have gotten from just one.

As far as the argument of structure having meaning, I have one main thing to say; how did this author make it through school if he’s just realizing this? This could just be me, but I think I learned back in the fifth grade that some teachers like their papers double spaced, some like even margins, some got mad if you didn’t put your name in the right corner… what’s the difference, really? Structure of information can change the perception of the information as a whole for the reader. So to my sixth grade teacher who failed my paper because I tried to make my handwriting as small as possible (I’m talking to you, Mr. Hancock)- it’s called “information design”.

How does real data actually promote a barrier to modern communication? How can it be argued that our advancement in technologies not not necessarily mean an advancement in communication?


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