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PhillyCHI - Experience Frameworks

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Experience frameworks are tools that can help maintain focus on the qualities of a great experience when planning and evaluating design. There are many frameworks in the industry today, but few have ...

Experience frameworks are tools that can help maintain focus on the qualities of a great experience when planning and evaluating design. There are many frameworks in the industry today, but few have been really put to the test as useful tools in other contexts. In this presentation, I share a few industry frameworks and show how I used one of those frameworks in my company.

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  • Today I'm going to talk about experience frameworks and how I believe they can help us guide and evaluate great experience design.I’ll talk about…- what makes a great experience- what experience frameworks are- and how I believe they can be usedSo let’s get started…
  • SURVEY AUDIENCEWhat makes an experience great experience? What are some examples of great experiences?Well, lets compare some things in the industry right now…
  • Well, let’s consider these two examples…
  • Lets talk DVRsSURVEY AUDIENCEWho uses a DVR? What kind of DVR do you have?BACK TO PRESOWhat makes the experience of using a TiVo different from the Comcast DVR?
  • They both have all the things you would expect in a DVR…Let you record the programs you want and even the entire season automaticallyPause and rewind live TV so you don’t miss a beatCan record more than one program at a time so you don’t have to choose between themHave lots of recording space so you can hold on to more for longerFrees up space by automatically deleting certain programs if neededLet you fast-forward through commercials so you can avoid ads and watch programs fasterGive you an on-screen guide that lets you search and browse the schedule of programsConnect with other on demand viewing options for more choiceGive you the ability to mange the DVR from wherever you are (at home or away)So what makes the experience of using a TiVo different from the Comcast DVR?
  • TiVo understands one key thing about the need to record TV…Most of us don’t want to manage content, we just want to watch it.This understanding is what makes the experience of TiVo different.It permeates throughout their interfaces, features and communications.[CLICK TO REVEAL]TiVo goes out of its way to make sure there’s something good on and that you’re aware of content you might be interested in.For instance, without interfering with the space you need for the recordings you have set, TiVo automatically records additional programs for you that are similar to other programs you’ve recorded or rated.[CLICK TO REVEAL]While the Comcast DVR is a good DVR, it doesn’t really go out of its way for me…at least not yet.
  • Lets talk runningSURVEY AUDIENCEI realize not everyone is a runner like me. But, who here likes to run?BACK TO PRESOWhat makes the experience of using a Nike+ different from the Garmin Forerunner watch for the average runner?
  • They both have all the things you would expect in a running gadget…Tracks distance, pace, time, and calories burned (albeit the accuracy of the distance may be different)Connect to heart rate monitorCreate custom workoutsProvide feedback during workoutsSupports more than just running and tracks walking, cycling, treadmill use, etc.Takes advantage of GPS to track where you’re running and where you need to go nextHas PC software that helps you review all your workouts, goals, and progress over timeSo what makes the experience of using Nike+ during your run different than the Garmin Forerunner?
  • Aside from the obvious feature that the Nike+ system connects to your music through your iPod or iPhone and the Garmin Forerunner does not,there’s still something else that makes the experience of using Nike+ stand apart…Nike+ understands that running is a hard, lonely activity that requires discipline and perseverance. Lets face it, it can be really easy to give up and go home. Especially for those of us that are not super serious runners. Through the connection to the iPod and other features, it turns what is typically a solitary activity and makes it supportive, collaborative, social and competitive. [CLICK TO REVEAL]Nike+ helps you make your run betterFor example, Nike+ gives you spoken feedback during your run to update you on your progress and motivate you to meet your goal. Afterwards you can share your progress with friends online and challenge them a friendly competition.[CLICK TO REVEAL]The Garmin Forerunner is an amazing piece of equipment that does exactly what it needs to do to track your performance, but it doesn’t integrate into the lifestyle and needs of the average runner.
  • What’s interest about these two examples is that they don’t have to have the best quality of data, largest market share, or most features to deliver a great experience. What helps these two products to stand apart from their competition is that they are …
  • …more than just a collection of features that offer cool and advanced functionality, but rather…
  • …they’re integrated components artfully and sincerely designed to fit together and facilitate…
  • …meaningful interactions in the human experience……they are intended to fit comfortably into everyday life, enhancing interactions and relationships, and making you feel like you don’t want to live without themTiVo wants to make sure there’s always something good for you to watch and does it’s best to minimize the amount of effort you need to do to make that happenNike+ wants to help you make your run better by being your personal trainer, motivating you with a power song, and connecting you to your friends so that you running with a team of supporters and not aloneBut is having this single focus on meaningful interactions grounded in the human experience all you need to ensure that the experiences you are working on exceed to expectations of the users you are designing?How do you make sure this focus permeates throughout all the features and touchpoints a user encounters with your product or service?
  • I believe that’s where experience frameworks come in.But what do I mean by “experience frameworks”?
  • In an interview for Johnny Holland Magazine earlier this year, Jesse James Garrett mentions the need for experience frameworks to help us compare and contrast great experience design across channels and contexts.He said…[CLICK TO REVEAL]“We need to be able to talk, as a professional community, about what differentiates successful experience design from unsuccessful (or absent) experience design. In order to do that, we need frameworks for thinking about experience, describing its qualities, and evaluating it.”[MOVE TO NEXT SLIDE]
  • “Critique of experience design work is currently ad hoc, improvised, and specific to the context. We need ways to generalize these practices so experiences can be compared and contrasted across contexts.”What Jess is saying is similar to what I’ve been thinking about for over a year. However, I believe the role of experience frameworks goes beyond supporting critique and can actually help support the activity of experience design upfront.
  • I’m defining experience frameworks as a model, removed from any specific product or context, that can guide the framing and evaluation of an experience.I’m not referring to models that describe the processes and steps we take as designers or the roles and responsibilities we have on a project.Instead, these frameworks help to illustrate the qualities and stages of an experience.With this definition, there’s actually several frameworks in the community already that address this at different levels.
  • Here’s a handful of frameworks that attempt address experience design at different levels. Some of them are new and some of them have been around for awhile.
  • Every time I start digging for experience frameworks more and more come to the surface. At this year’s IDEA conference, a new framework surfaced by Cindy Chastain, called Story(Thinking) that has really developed from her work on Experience Themes.
  • I’ll introduce you to a three of the experience frameworks I’ve uncovered, then I’ll dive a little deeper into one of them to show you have I’ve used it to support the framing and evaluation of an experience.This is by no means a comprehensive list. The more I look, the more I uncover.
  • This is The Experience Wheel from LEGO.It describes the experience of a design, over time, and across various touchpoints. In this fictitious example…It starts with the description of a particular customer in the center that’s relevant to the experience in design.In this case the wheel is plotting the experience of a flight from New York City from Heathrow International airport for a man named Richard who is a tall, senior executive, traveling for work.Taking into consideration the lifecycle of events and activities that happen before, during and after the actual flight.Around the lifecycle the designers have reflected all of the various activities and interactions that would take place for RichardEach interaction is evaluated as a positive or negative point in the experience and some interactions are identified as critical points for a good experience.It also identifies which interactions require involvement from the system or data store in order to support it.All in all, it illustrates that great experiences aren’t a single WOW moment, but rather a series of little, valuable, positive interactions over time.
  • Forrester Research has developed a handy framework of the qualities they believe will be necessary for the future of online experiences. I believe that these qualities extend into offline experiences as well.
  • CARS stands for Customized, Aggregated, Relevant and Social.What they mean is that an experience should beCustomized by the end user: Where users have control over what they get online and the form that they get it inAggregated at the point of use: Where content, function, and data are pulled from different sources and combined at a common destination to create a unique experience.Relevant to the moment: Where customized and aggregated content appear on the device that’s best suited to the user’s context and constraints at a given point in time.Social as a rule, not an exception: Where social content and tools are integrated into most of the experience and not segregated into a separate tool.
  • For example, Weather.com’s recent design changes have worked to incorporate all of these qualities.[CLICK TO REVEAL]Customized by the end user: Where users have control over what they get online and the form that they get it inThe user can easily customize the weather to show and easily access the areas most important to them.
  • [CLICK TO REVEAL]Aggregated at the point of use: Where content, function, and data are pulled from different sources and combined at a common destination to create a unique experience.They’ve also began aggregating information about fitness needs, pet care, pollen levels, traffic, etc. to show the implications of the current weather forecast on those activities and needs.
  • Relevant to the moment: Where customized and aggregated content appear on the device that’s best suited to the user’s context and constraints at a given point in time.They focus on the features and information most useful when using your iPadvs your iPhone. Additional features are hidden or absent, depending on the circumstances.
  • [CLICK TO REVEAL]Social as a rule, not an exception: Where social content and tools are integrated into most of the experience and not segregated into a separate tool.They support the ability for folks in your community to submit their photos and videos about the weather conditions and serve them to you alongside the forecast.
  • And lastly, I’d like to introduce you to The Experience Cycle.
  • The experience cycle is a framework developed by Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson.The cycle outlines the five steps users go through in building a relationship with a product or service.It’s intended to help sift the focus beyond the first-time use and on to nurturing a series of interactions that address the entire lifecycle from awareness to recommendation.
  • The goal of each step is to support clockwise movement from connect & attract to advocate.Each step addresses a different event in the lifecycle.[CLICK] Connect & Attract: The initial connection with the user to make an impression and pique interest inspiring them to want more information.[CLICK] Orient: The overview or preview of what’s available and possible through explaining and exploring to encourage a purchase, activation or first-time use[CLICK] Interact: The completion of valuable and valued activities with the product or service that begins to become a regular interaction[CLICK] Extend & Retain: The promise of more and the discovery of new features and advantages that are beyond the original expectations strengthening loyalty[CLICK] Advocate: The desire to tell others about it and share in their satisfaction[CLICK] The cycle starts again with the interest of a new user.The recursive nature of this framework makes it an interesting tool for the overall experience of a product or service, or the detailed experience of a specific component of that experience…For example…
  • Let’s say we wanted to frame out the touchpoints of the experience for the new Apple iPod Nano…
  • Across the life of the product, there are multiple touchpoints…To connect and attract, Apple has advertising in various forms from billboards to TV spots, etc.To orient, Apple has their website with lots of rich and useful information as well as their stores…T interact, the user listens, watches and uses the iPod… To extend and retain, Apple has a iTunes and suite of additional services like Ping and Genius and partnerships like Nike+
  • These are just a few of the interesting experience frameworks I’ve uncovered over the past year. There are many more.Out of all the frameworks I’ve encountered so far, I wasn’t able to really see any evidence of these frameworks being used as tools in experience design projects. Sure there’s lots of discussion and some iteration, but there was a lack of publicly accessible case studies of their application in a variety of projects.I would like to show you how I’ve attempted to apply one of these frameworks to a couple of projects at Comcast.
  • And that framework is “The Experience Cycle”
  • I have found the experience cycle to be a really great and flexible tool on a number of levels.I’m going to show you how I’ve attempted to use this cycle to:Communicate issues in a designPlan for the evaluation of an experienceAnd prepare for designing something new
  • Let’s get started with the first…communicating issues in a designI first became aware of The Experience Cycle over a year ago when we were working on a new feature we were about to unveil to customers that would allow them to watch premium TV shows online for free.The feature was an incredible technological achievement and a great value for our customers, but it required a rather difficult setup process.We were conducting usability studies on this set up process when we noticed an unfortunate pattern.
  • The setup process involved a lot of steps…Once the user found something to wanted to watch they got a message that seemed like an error at first…The only step they could take was to sign in, but many of our participants didn’t know what to sign in with and there wasn’t a way to create an account…This sent them through a process of retrieving some credentials before they could move on…Once they got the credentials the needed they were confronted with a step to download and install some software…Users had lots of questions about why they needed to do this but it was difficult to find the answers in the FAQs that were linked…If they proceeded they saw a number of security, download and install screens…Then they were presented with additional setup screens to authorize their computer before they could return to the video that hopefully, successfully played
  • With every slide through the setup process, the user could fall off and never experience the value behind the feature
  • The shear number of steps is an issue, but what we heard most throughout the process was that participants were constantly asking questions about what was going on and why they needed to bother. They were concerned about whether this would have an additional cost and how much that cost would beThey wanted to know if they would be able to watch the high-quality videos or if it would slow down their computer and their connectionThey wanted to be able to figure out all the “extra” benefits and content they would have access toThose that were able to anticipate and articulate the value of the feature faired much better in completing the set up process to finally experience it.We believed that we were missing out on a key step in this process… [CLICK TO REVEAL]We weren’t doing a good job of telling users what the new feature was, how it would benefit them, and what they needed to do to take advantage of it.
  • We felt, that the greater users valued the service, and the better equipped they were to get started, the more likely they would overcome any of the necessary hurdles we had to present them.In all of our reports we did our best to point out this weakness and the effect it had on completing the setup process, but it was difficult to get any significant attention to it beyond the immediate usability issues of the individual steps.We needed a better way to expose and communicate this larger issue in the context of the entire experience.
  • To meet our immediate needs, I took The Experience Cycle and simplified the model.I split the cycle in half to differentiate which stages seemed to focus on first-time use vs. continued use.The first 2-1/2 steps focused on first-time use, while the last 2-1/2 stages focused on continued use. To cross the threshold from first-time use to continued use required a successful, positive first-time experience with the product -- were expectations are managed and the value of the feature is understood.
  • We determined that a user could enter this cycle at two points -- marketed-to and stumble-upon.Regardless of which point the user entered the cycle the information needs are similar. Users need help orienting themselves to the feature before being able to have a successful, positive first-time experience. For some users it may be as simple as answering one question, for others it may require a deeper exploration and possible demonstration for them to determine what the feature is, why they should bother, and what steps they have to take for it. In either case, the feature should support the user's ability to sufficiently answer their questions from either point.
  • In our case, with users that were attracted to the new feature through a marketing effort we sent them to a page that did very little to answer their questions and confirm their suspicions. The page we sent them to instead focused on pushing users to start watching the premium content even though there would be a series unexpected steps.
  • With users that stumbled upon the premium content for the first time, the only information they received to explain what was going on was mistaken for an error in most cases. We didn’t provide any direct access to information that would help explain what was going on, why they should care, and what they would have to do.
  • Our problems were here… with ORIENTWe needed to do a better job of supporting the users’ need to understand what was going on and why they should care in order to have that successful, positive, first-time experience.---The use of this modified experience cycle (combined with a list of questions and information needs that users had in the usability study)helped us to communicate this larger issue to the product leads.Since then, we’ve observed a lot of great improvements over the past year to really turn this into a smoother, more rewarding experience.
  • With the success of communicating issues in an experience I saw how powerful this tool could be.I decided to see if I could use it to help plan “the experience” I wanted participants to go through in order to evaluate another product.
  • Some of you may have heard about XFINITY…Well, a few months back our team was working on a website that would help explain and showcase what XFINITY was and how you could get it.The experience cycle helped me to realize that this website was just one piece of the puzzle.
  • This new website was supposed to help users learn about XFINITY.Then I started to wonder, how would they become aware of XFINITY in the first place, how would they think to look for this site and how.And once they came here (and it hopefully answered all of the questions they had), how would they go about getting the service?I began to see this study as an evaluation of one component in conjunction with 2 other stages of the experience.
  • Connect & Attract: We incorporated a video advertisement into the beginning of our study, followed by a discussion about the content and their questions about the service. We were able to test what messages they took away from the commercial and whether their next steps matched what we were hoping.Orient: We made sure we had access to all of the content the team had planned for the orient stage, so that users could explore the material to see if it helped them to make a better decision whether to consider the service or not.Interact: Lastly, we ensured that we had access to the procurement environment to test that users were able to make a buy decision if they were interested in the service.
  • Using the experience cycle to plan the materials and flow of the usability study provided is a much richer picture of the experience from awareness to getting the service that we might not have otherwise gotten if we were simply evaluating only one piece of the puzzle, absent from the elements that surround and influence it.It helped us to evaluate the transitions between steps and understand how they influenced each other.
  • Much in the same what that I used the cycle to plan out a usability study and evaluate an experience, I believe you can use it to plan out the work when you are about to start the design process. I’m going to be trying to integrate this at Comcast where I can
  • But for right now, here’s is what I’m thinking…By unraveling the cycle you can begin to form a chart to start identifying all the touchpoints for the different user scenarios you need to address.[CLICK TO REVEAL]But beyond just identifying the touchpoints, you can go one step further and…[CLICK TO REVEAL]Identify who has control and influence over the design decisions for that touchpoint.That way you can coordinate efforts with other teams that may be responsible for different touchpoints and allow the work from both efforts to influence each other.[CLICK TO REVEAL]And you can also sketch out what the desired outcome and actions should be for the user that satisfies the business objectives.
  • The Experience Cycle has been a really useful tool tocommunicate issues and risks of an experienceplan usability testing and researchand frame the work needed for a new experience project[CLICK TO REVEAL]And so many of the other frameworks can help you do this too.
  • There are so many interesting frameworks out there. I don’t there there’s just one framework out there to guide us all through great experience design.
  • Today we talked about a lot of things…We talked about how focusing on the human element of experience can really help a product stand apart from its competition, but only if that focus permeates throughout all the touchpoints a user would encounter.I showed you how I believe experience frameworks can help guide experience design to help us cover all the bases.And, I showed you how I’ve tried to use the frameworks in my own work
  • So I hope that today…[CLICK] I’ve “piqued your interest” in experience frameworks[CLICK] that I’ve “showed the value” they can have in experience design[CLICK] that I’ve “encouraged you to try” them for yourself[CLICK] find your own way to “mold and enhance them” for your environment[CLICK] and “report back” your findings [CLICK] so we can all learn and try better ways to achieve great experience design
  • Thank you!

PhillyCHI - Experience Frameworks PhillyCHI - Experience Frameworks Presentation Transcript