Emotional about design

I’m always skeptical about articles with no attributed author. Emotional about design is one such article. I imagine the entire thing was written by some grunt at NNG, or perhaps by Don himself.

None-the-less, the article discusses the premise of Don Norman’s book, Emotional Design in a nice little package. I suppose I’ll review it when I get around to reading it. Right now, I’m more into Husserl and Heidegger.

Erik Davis on Experience Design

Erik Davis’ Experience Design And the Design of Experience is the single best piece I’ve read on the subject.

Not only does he offer a sublime definition of experience:

“…let’s just think of human experience as the phenomenal unfolding of awareness in real time”

…but he also touches on some powerful, related topics such as recreational drug use, spirituality and also scary shit like the manipulation of desire for the purpose of advertising.

Additionally, much of what he writes suggests an increasing need for Design Ethicists—a topic in which I’m surprised to find myself very interested.

Nathan Shedroff: the v-2 interview

From back in 2002, Adam Greenfield interviews Nathan Shedroff [part 1, part 2].

I had high hopes that this interview would address the problem that there exists no general theory of or approach to Experience Design. Shedroff gets close to discussing it a couple times during the interview, but Greenfield keeps pulling him away with his Information Architecture obsession. Arrgh!

The extent of what Shedroff says about an approach to Experience Design is (imagine a lot of hand waving here), “You just consider the experience.” Utterly unsatisfying.

Even if they had discussed it directly, I suspect it wouldn’t have been very meaningful, simply because both Greenfield and Shedroff seemed much more concerned with other topics during the interview.

Notes on Kant and Locke

Some notes on Kant and Locke from the book, Understanding Emerson : “The American Scholar” and His Struggle for Self-Reliance. I think these are all from page 8.

John Lock introduced the idea of the mind as tabula rasa, a blank tablet, and held that consciousness is shaped largely by external experience.

Immanuel Kant:

  • Critique of Pure Reason (1781)
  • Observed that metaphysicians (Locke) were unable to show how external objects shape human perception
  • “if the material world appears knowable, it is because the human mind makes it so”
  • The categories of understanding that are intuitive to us all determine the way we perceive what we call reality

…and a bonus quote from James Freeman Clarke: “until Coleridge showed me from Kant that though knowledge begins with experience, it does not come from experience

Nature of Experience Model

I created this last year, before I read anything about linguistics, cognition or human experience. That’s my way of saying this is probably very wrong, but it’s at least a good tool for thinking about the relationship between the three.

(click for a larger image)