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Monday 07|23|01
Advance for Design Summit #4 Summary (long)

As promised, a blow by blow of the Advance Summit #4 along with some of my thoughts and conclusions. I will not repeat, in detail, the formal presentations since they will be posted on the Advance web site within a week or so. When they are posted, I will link each section with them. Between each formal presentation was a brief 10 minute show and tell of an example or artifact. Most were related to the presentation before but not all were. They are very interesting and a good chance to see other people work. Conclusions follow brief thoughts and descriptions of the two and half days of work.

July 12

Opening remarks by Terry Swack and Clement Mok
Gave review of Telluride and established expectations for the weekend

Brief History
October 1998 - Nantucket
We all aspire to create useful, usable and desirable solutions

July 1999 - Santa Fe
Discussed the terminology - Interaction Design, Experience Design, etc. Left asking the question “Who isn’t an experience designer”

August 2000 - Telluride
Agreed the term “Experience Design” describes a community of practice - not a profession - and that designing effective experiences requires many types of professionals with a broad range of knowledge. Group surveyed knowledge and skills, titles, values and measures of success and agreed that results created an accurate high-level profile of the ED community.

July 2001 - Scottsdale
Goal - define range of roles and types of problems solved, projects and tools. Information will be aggregated and synthesized to create a high level set of problems solved and value for each. Will help inform standardization of practice knowledge and skill and the development of undergrad and graduate curriculum.

Presentation of Committees
Meeting and Conference Committee
Terry Swack, Clement Mok, Gong Szeto, Dick Buchanan, Nathan Shedroff, Julia Whitney, Nico McDonald

Goal: develop programming for AIGA Experience Design group, nationally and locally via chapters

Presented some early ideas: summit #4, packaging programming for local chapters, planning national conference in fall 2002, joint Design User Experience conference with SIG CHI in 2002

Knowledge Creation & Management Committee
Ric Grefe, Terry Irwin, Gail Wiggin, Marc Rettig

Goal: capture info generated by group and create structures for delivery to large audience - all Advance members and AIGA communities. Plus develop plans for reaching external audience (educators, business)

Presented outlets for dissemination: Gain, Loop, the Advance website and other materials as necessary depending on need.

Modeling, Education and Research Committee
Meredith David, Brenda Laurel, Shelly Evenson, Hugh Dubberly

Goal: articulate competencies to be addressed by educational curricula and that will strengthen the accreditation process of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Will also suggest areas for research that represent gaps in the knowledge that informs design practice.

Brand and Marketing Committee
Karen Rall, Lisa Strausfeld, Nico McDonald

Goal: create standard messaging and timeline to reach all audiences that promote experience design, use experience designers etc. Develop strategy for messaging - press releases, articles as well as internal tools (Loop, Gain, Advance website)

July 13
Definitions were presented for the following roles:
Business strategist
Design strategist
Brand strategist
Visual Systems designer
Brand Experience designer
Information Architect / Information Designer
Interaction designer

Each role was presented by 2 or more people - sometimes from very different perspectives. They were asked to define: What do they actually do? What are problem types and project types? What are primary concepts that guide work? What tools do they use? Who do they collaborate with? What kind of education needed in the future? What type of research to help us in the future? What schools do they recruit from?

Most people used the presentation template provided, but some deviated with their own presentations. After each, the floor was opened for discussion.

Business Strategy / Design Strategy
Jim Searing (Ernst & Young), Mike Richter (MetaDesign, Berlin)

Interesting points:
Defined each role and talked about some of the differences as well as similarities. Biggest difference is that Business Strategists work closely with CEOs while Design Strategists generally work with lower levels.

Business strategists have MBA’s and want to control the world
Design strategists generally have MFA’s and want to change the world

Book: The Art of Innovation: Tom Kelly

Show and Tell
Gong Szeto and Patty Palisco (Rare Medium)
Presented a User Experience overview sheet they developed and then used to help educate other group members and offices about what the UXD team was responsible for and the value of their involvement to business.

Brand Strategists
Chris Chalk (Goodby, Silverstein and Partners), Peter Laundy (Doblin Group)

Business and brand strategy deeply interconnected but different perspectives.

Companies with greater control over the customer experience - most points of contact have more success of brand

Doblin website - tool that takes business innovations, experience innovations Can map back to see where people are innovating

Book - Experience Economy: Joseph Pine and James Gilmore

Show and Tell
Davis Masten (Cheskin Research)

Presented example of project recently worked on as Brand Strategist for Electrolux Vacuums

Christopher Ireland (Cheskin Research), Rick Robinson (Sapient)

Studying different perspectives of the same object and asking if the object is even there

Key advice:
Know what you are looking for - the object
Know what are you studying and why
Data gathering is not analysis

The story is there, somewhere
Finding the story depends very heavily on having a goal in the beginning

Professional practice and respect
Building on others work - Citation - is part of the practice of research

Show and Tell
Angela Shen-Hsieh (Visual i|o)

Asks questions in her work:
How will someone use this experience to better their lives
What is the purpose of the experience
Who, primarily, does the experience serve
Who else might benefit from it
How do you resolve the conflict with goals of serving the business & brand versus serving the user?
Are there new metaphors, new conceptual models that can be used?
Can we improve the decision making through the representation and navigation of information?

Visual Systems Design
Steven Hoskins (Asst. Professor, VCU)

Presented definition of Visual systems designer that was very confusing and not very clear. He rambled on into brand and didn’t really define the role well.

Brand Experience Design
Brian Collins (Ogilvy & Mather)

Presented 3d diagram of Brand Experience

Defined brand as stories and metaphor: ideas that are desirable

Brand is a promise made consistently over time
Creating a consistent experience

Promise >>>design is the bridge>>> Experience

Brian wanted to look to the future to illustrate the point but fell short with evolution of current brands. Instead he looked to the past for an illustration of the point.

Go back to 1701

Imagine you are on a ship

Sailing around - carrying shipment

You see another ship coming along and gradually getting closer, as it gets closer you notice it is speeding up and tacking towards you%0|9ůóAs it starts to become parallel, you notice the flag coming down

A new flag is put up - skull and crossbones -

This is the brand promise

The ship pulls up alongside and you notice sailors have swords and the cannons start -

The brand promise is becoming brand performance with changing behavior

This is backed by specific brand performance delivered by determined brand messages

Brand promise evolves into brand experience

Everything promised by visual identity has been delivered


A brand says something to consumers
A brand says something to employees

Primary concepts that drive this work
Showed metaphor of hand - each finger representing an important concept

Pointer - clarity - what direction do you want to gain
Middle - surprise - provocation
Ring - commitment - level from all parties involved, client, creative, everyone has to be committed
Pinkie - details - small things are important
Thumb - collaboration - drives everything

Information Architects / information Designers
Lillian Svec (, Raoul Richenberg ( Standard Deviation Studios)
+ Louis Rosenfeld & Nathan Shedroff (not present)

They toggled back and forth between IA and ID and then decided this talk was really about IA

talked alot about plasticity = thinking about planning + anticipating change over time as its being used.

Show and Tell
David Rose (Viant Innovation Center)

Premise: experience architecture rather than experience design

Talked about experience patterns: take from a huge range of disciplines
They spark compelling strategies that satisfy and delight customers and deliver on business goals.
Stressed the importance of Reuse of patterns
And developing Best practices to reuse

Referred to Design management journal article about Experience Architecture

Interaction Design
Robert Reimann (Cooper Interaction), Jodi Forlizzi (Carnegie Mellon University)

Presented about interaction design and interaction design research. Robert spoke about the practice primarily and Jodi Forlizzi elaborated on the education and research needs and roles.

Eugene Chen (Aaron Marcus & Associates), Steve Krug (self employed), Keith Instone (UsableWeb)

This was an interesting talk in that Eugene Chen and the team at AM&A are UI designers who wear the usability hat as needed in their process. Steve Krug is a freelance usability specialist and is brought into teams and projects as the usability guy. They presented their different perspectives and added in notes and items from Keith Instone. They made many references to Lou Rosenfeld.

Show and Tell
Jonathon Arnowitz (Cambridge Technology Partners)

This presentation talked about a variation of task analysis that uses a team approach.

Talked about pros and cons of task analysis
- direct user contact onsite
- how end user interacts with computer to a given task
- helps set quality standards
- reference point

- too specialized, not collaborative
- not intuitive
- few understand them
- no one else shares their value

Proposes a new technique

Task Layer Maps
- based on collaborative principle
- easy to read and follow system
- parallel tasks instead of time or rule based tasks
- over simplified
- customizable per team

uses a spaghetti to lasagna analogy

1) Make spaghetti
a. list all tasks in brainstorming
b. from user study connect all the tasks in the order they are completed
c. draw lines of dependency or flow or serial
d. any system will do but multiple scenarios work best

2) straighten spaghetti
a. layer according to time
b. or possibility of working in parallel

3) make lasagna
a. normalize drawing
b. remove redundant connections

Reasons why this approach is better than traditional task analysis:
everyone is involved in the creation
chart is a shared artifact - therefore everyone is vested in using the tool
result is an overview of what trying to make
a method of checking for completeness
Leads to improved quality of product / service

Article about the technique

July 14th

Branda Laurel (Art Center College of Design)

Passed out sample survey that will be given to schools - will be collecting data on programs offered, degrees, curriculum, etc.

Also asked everyone to look at list of schools compiled from around the world - took email addresses of people who knew anything about a particular school or program

IVREA Report
Nathan Shedroff

IVREA is a brand new Interactive degree program

- First school created from scratch specifically devoted to experience design
- Students get computer as part of program but are responsible for upkeep
- Travel each quarter as part of curriculum, must report back
- Immersion in design and forms of design
- Students all live in one building
- 8-9 faculty, board of advisors from industry
- First students start in October - intnl
- Project based program
- Will be bringing in guest speakers
- Benchmarks / criteria for student entry
- Portfolio, interesting background, desire
- Teach in English

Also building a research arm
Fellows, attendees from industry visiting for 1 to 3 month visits

Breakout sessions
My group worked on taking all the roles and the problem types for each and resolving overlaps and coming up with a list of the top 10 - 20 major problems solved and values for each.

We worked on this for 3 hours

Each group then presented work in progress


Defined process/act of collaboration and types of people involved

Top 20

Types of problems we solve and values associated with each


Developed different models for the Experience life cycle

Attraction >> Orientation >> Compelling Interaction >> Retention >> Habitutation >> (presented in a repeating circle)


Lists of info about future trends, changes and places where design opportunities can happen

Visual info designer - definition proposal - two statements of definition

Visual designersynthesizescontent via an evolving visual language using anlegible set of metaphors

In addition, the visual designer

userdesires defined
Facilitates theaudiencein accomplishingneedsthrough avaluableexperience

The team did not answer the rest of the questions about this role from the presentation template.

Cross Cutting Issues
Issues down left are often dealt with across multiple disciplines, in differing ways and sometimes with different vocabularies. Matrix allows a team to capture these issues and check tasks per discipline and evaluate metrics for success across each as a project rolls on.

Discipline 1 Discipline 2 Discipline 3 Evaluate: Quality metrics
Consistency Task Task Task User experience success
User/devicesTaskTaskTask User experience success
standardsTaskTaskTask User experience success
security TaskTaskTask User experience success
culturalTaskTaskTask User experience success
Change management evolutionTaskTaskTask User experience success
Data / metricsTaskTaskTask User experience success
ErrorsTaskTaskTask User experience success
LearningTaskTaskTask User experience success
AccessTaskTaskTask User experience success
ExpectatonsTaskTaskTask User experience success

The summit seemed to be a success. The roles and definitions for those roles were generally agreed upon. Missing were good definitions for visual design - although we all seemed to know it was a necessary role - and content strategist. The group had a long discourse over BRAND and the definition of brand. Some people couldn’t get past the little definition of brand that is often associated with all the bad things marketing and ad agencies have done to manipulate our buying habits.

I really liked Brian Collins’ definition: Brand is a promise made consistently over time

And think that it definitely applies to what we do. As Experience Designers, everything we do should uphold the values of the brand. The intangible nature of our work leaves impressions on our end users. These impressions should be positive but are often negative. They almost always will affect the perception of the company providing the experience.

We also got hung up on Visual design and several people continued to think that visual designers are marginalized with the definitions presented. They felt that so many of the roles defined have taken over responsibilities previously in the realm of visual designers. I disagree. I think that Visual Design is a necessary component to the Experience Design process and it serves the need for developing the visual language of an experience piece as well as the methods for upholding and delivering the brand promise. I think that yes - some of these roles do take on what used to be the responsibility of the visual designer, but I think that many of the people who have these new roles have just specialized out of the purely visual role. I know I have. I count myself as an Interaction Designer and Information Architect - yet I used to be a graphic designer. I have become a specialist.

The group as a whole agreed that we did not touch on the other team members - technology and marketing roles - within the development process. The breakout sessions on the second day were organized around topics that seemed to come up over and over again and people volunteered to participate based on interest.

Each role was clearly articulated and defined and in the later work sessions we synthesized the problem statements, projects types and reduced redundancies. We created a list that defines the larger role of Experience Designers within the project cycle and we articulated values to business that these roles play. We created visual models and lists to support the process and the value proposition and we explored methods for evaluating success and business values.

All in all, the summit was a two and a half working session. The committees now must take all the materials - definitions, statements, work models and other material and synthesize it even further for dissemination via methods defined by the Knowledge committee.

I think great strides were made in articulating clear roles, definitions and most of all business values and I believe this work will help a lot as we have conversations with other professional groups (SIG CHI, SIGIA) as well as with our business partners/clients.

All slide sets from the Presenters to the Show and tell artifacts are supposed to be posted to the AIGA Advance website in the next week or so.

I came away with a good feeling that we don’t have to spend too much more time struggling with the definitions of what an experience design practitioner does. As the AIGA publishes and disseminates the materials we prepped, we can move on to the bigger issues - working with other team members, other professional groups, creating business value with our expertise and skills and creating great stuff for end users.

Posted by erin at 01:05 AM | in Conference Review


Although it's true that the A in AIGA sets it squarely as an US institution, the 'advance' should be international. Apart from Nico Macdonald, were there any other international participants?

Posted by matt at July 23, 2001 01:27 PM

There was one representative from IVREA there. A dutch, danish or german guy - Jan something. He presented with Nathan, is on the faculty at IVREA, but wasn't on the list so I didn't catch his full name. Patricia Pallisco - from Toronto, Mike Richter from MetaDesign in Berlin, and another attendee from British Columbia. Spare attendance from outside the US, but with a limit of 80 you would expect it to be that way. It will be interesting to see how it expands as the programs and events start to encompass the broader audience.

Posted by erin at July 23, 2001 05:26 PM

But aside from a few loose ends, hopefully we can move beyond the definitions and do some work on definitely some of the processes experience designers use -- obviously at a pretty general level, since everyone will do things somewhat different , depending on where they're working and the specifics of the project. Despite the pretensions of various consultancies to have the "secret recipe" for success, everyone was/is using similiar processes. And in fact in other disciplines these processes are openly talked about and discussed (even published, for example the American Institute of Architects or the Software Engineering Institute's maturity model). Such an "open source" discussion of process will definitely help us mature as a discipline.

Posted by george at August 21, 2001 11:26 AM

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