Education is not exempt from experience design
After weeks of research, interviews, and brainstorming, Katie and I have a designed a curriculum that we believe will appeal to both students, school administrators, and faculty. So what’s our next focus? Besides finding a school to partner with, I am exploring beyond the curriculum, and thinking about the experience.
The Experience Cycle
On my blog, I recently wrote about iPhone games and Hugh Dubberly and Shelley Evenson’s Experience Cycle. The Experience Cycle is a continuous relationship and conversation between a consumer and a product or service. Instead of focusing on single interactions with consumers, the Experience Cycle, is a holistic approach to consumer engagement – from awareness to advocating. Successful companies, like Nintendo and Zappos, provide case studies in this method. Their success can be attributed to creating relationships with their consumers as well as continuous interaction at every possible touch point. I believe the Experience Cycle provides an interesting framework for designing how Project: Interaction will engage with high school students and ultimately provide guidelines for measuring the success of our program.
The Project: Interaction Experience Cycle
The Experience Cycle has five steps. Below, I outline the Project: Interaction experience at each of these points.
1. Connecting (first impression)
We’re connecting with students at a community level. The attraction to our program will be that students will learn that they can design products and services that impact the community around them, which could be their school and/or neighborhood.
2. Becoming oriented (understanding what’s possible)
Each week of our curriculum explores one area of interaction design and relates that concept to New York City. Students immediately began to think as designers, discovering how design influences the environment around them. Students will begin exploring problems and solutions that can be achieved through design.
3. Interacting with the product (direct experience)
Our program isn’t about lecturing the students each week and having them sit still and take notes. We want them to make things. As we explore environments, mobile technology, and services, students will brainstorm, sketch, and design their own solutions to topics we propose.
4. Extending perception or skill and use (mastery)
The program is cumulative – allowing students to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and themes that we teach while becoming passionate observers of the world. After a seven week primer to interaction design, these designers in training will explore a design solution to a problem that matters to them.
5. Telling others (teaching or spreading activation)
Since Project: Interaction is a new program, our students’ successes (and failures) will determine its success. Their exposure to interaction design should excite them about what’s possible with design and intrigue them to learn more. Ultimately as we recruit future attendees, they’ll help us promote our program among their classmates and peers.
As we talk with students and schools about Project: Interaction, I predict that we will spend more time talking about the experience of the program than the details of our curriculum. We hope the appeal of both – the tangible and the experiential – will generate interest on both sides and result in a great school partnership.