Liking The Guest


Published on

Caring about your users is a design principal. Originally presented at Sketching in Hardware 2011 in Philadelphia.

Published in: Design, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • \n
  • This is a talk with pirates, princesses, apes, taxidermy, a man and a mouse.\nIt’s about why we’re all here, and it starts with a critical moment.\n
  • In the fall I’m teaching a class called Sensitive Buildings.\nWe’re going to sensor network a 300-unit apartment building on Central Park South.\nWireless I’m good, but I needed a textbook on building engineering.\n\n
  • Barnes & Noble has a whole section of architectural engineering books to plow through.\nThere’s one called MEEB, and many many others.\nA thin orange book caught my eye. That's the critical moment\n
  • About a month earlier I had met some pirates...\n
  • ...and a cartoon princess on a trip to the Mouse. Disneyland is striking in so many ways.\nIt’s commercial, it’s squeaky-clean and every single light bulb works.\nNo matter your age or outlook, the experience is comprehensive and coherent.\nThere’s crowds, lines, modest food and people are having fun. They’re happy.\n
  • The orange book was called Designing Disney, by John Hench about creating Disneyland.\nChapters include color, character and story. I opened to a section titled “Liking the Guests”\n
  • Liking. As a design principal?\nWhite space, symmetry, composition and Liking?\nSomehow seeing it expressed in the unexpected context of Disneyland popped its universality.\nA chill went down my spine as my neurons instantly reorganized around this theme:\n
  • “Liking the guests is key to everything we do.”\n
  • “To build effective story environments and assure guest comfort we realized that we always need to assume the guest’s position and point of view, and just as Walt did, to take the guest’s interests to heart and defend them when others didn’t think it mattered”\n
  • There’s really nothing new about all this.\nBut I’d been working in a world of requirements documents, minimum viable products and managed expectations.\nThen Walt Disney reached out to me from the void.\n
  • Let me tell you why it matters.\n
  • Liking the Guests is more than theater and more than usability.\nIt’s about details, story, engagement, forgiveness. It’s about compassion.\nThese things aren’t new! They’re old and we need to renew them constantly.\n
  • In our everyday lives, when we like someone, we cooperate.\nWhen you like your users, you travel together with them towards a common goal.\n
  • Later that week I happened watched “Ape Genius” on NOVA.\nTurns out that apes mostly can’t do this. They can’t cooperate.\nBut people can, it’s one of the things that makes us human.\n
  • In fact, facilitation and encouragement and reciprocity is the basis of teaching.\nAnimals don’t want to teach. Humans do.\nThis cooperation and teaching, it turns us on.\nSo Liking the Guests is fun, and it’s good for us.\n
  • When we like the guests we give them experiences that are sensual and complete.\nWe pave the cowpaths. We give details–a little texture on a knob, a notch to help open the peanuts, an extra screenshot in the instructions.\nWe test and fix. We engage.\n
  • Engaging is easy. In fact, I’ve got a list compiled from student suggestions.\nIt’s like a toolbox for luring humans in.\n
  • In fact it’s even simpler.\nJohn Hench said, "Disney aimed to enrich people’s lives with experiences that would stimulate their imagination.”\nThis means it’s not all about control. It’s also about leaving room for the guests.\n
  • Ikea thinks of everything. They’re totally in your head.\nChildcare, parts, lunch, help line, twine, credit, parking, whatever it takes.\nAll barriers are removed.\nIkea is compassionate and complete with purpose.\n
  • Or, here’s Jill Haefele’s (Ha-fi-la’s) Circadian Squirrel. It slowly removes its head and replaces it to mark the passage of time. Weird!\nOpens questions: Where did it come from? Why did she make it? What does it mean?\nTotally stimulates the imagination. \n
  • Impossible to look at Circadian Squirrel and not sense that you are communicating with someone who wants to entangle your imagination.\nTotally different way of liking the guest.\n
  • Here’s a couple closer in from the extermes.\nAn initiative at Google called Data Liberation, aims to ensure you can always download all your information so it’s not trapped in the cloud.\nThe Goog loves data, and if you love something, set it free. On one level this runs counter to business and on another it’s embracing your users.\n
  • Finally we have another favorite of mine.\nTom Gerhardt’s Mud Tub is an organic, sensual interface to buffer between the physical and digital.\nIt’s more purposeful than the squirrel, but in no way is it about business.\nAnd it’s fun.\n
  • There’s room for everyone in liking the guests.\nFrom Ikea who is focusing on your needs to run a business, \nTo Circadian Squirrel who purely exists to stimulate your sense of wonder.\n
  • There’s payoffs for us, the makers.\nNo matter where you are on the scale:\nUser loyalty, reciprocity, join you in new ventures, suspended disbelief, more likely to forgive our mistakes, Plus you’re doing something worthwhile. That feels great.\n
  • Why are we here?\nWe didn’t come here to show schematics or code or discuss the intricacies of licensing or theorize or hear ourselves talk.\n
  • We came here for all other kinds of reasons, only a few of which are on this slide.\nYou’re in a room full of people who give a damn.\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Liking The Guest

    1. 1. Liking the GuestsRob Faludi
    2. 2. Liking The Guests
    3. 3. “Liking the guests is key to everything we do.”
    4. 4. “To build effective story environments and assureguest comfort we realized that we always need toassume the guest’s position and point of view, andjust as Walt did, to take the guest’s interests toheart and defend them when others didn’t think itmattered”
    5. 5. Engagement
    6. 6. Imagination entanglement
    7. 7. Mud Tub
    8. 8. Room for everyone
    9. 9. Payoffs for the Makers • loyalty • reciprocity • uptake • suspension of disbelief • forgiveness • for us: doing something worthwhile
    10. 10. We did not travel here for: • schematics • code • licenses • theories • hearing ourselves talk • ...these are not why we came here
    11. 11. We are here for: • usability • DIY • education • open-source • entertainment • kits and instructions • user centered design • sharing • accessibility • hacking• enrich people’s lives with experiences that stimulate their imagination
    12. 12. “Liking the guests is key to everything we do.”
    13. 13. thanks for being my guestsRob Faludi