Aspect Levels

Aspect Levels:

Ways to examine experience design scenes at different levels.

Photo: martabranco90
a pair of glasses

Aspects that comprise people’s experiences live at many levels—some at the surface, others a little further down, and still others deeply buried inside contexts, people, and objects. James H. Gilmore’s Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills challenges readers to use many lenses to observe the world around them. This concept is helpful for studying and designing experiences. When we put on different lenses, we can better understand contexts, people, and objects within experience design scenes.

Characteristics and Behaviors

Characteristics can be observed, measured, and shared in real ways. Qualities like physical size, style, materials, sex, and gender identity comprise what components are—their physical and owned identities.

Contexts, people, and design change and act differently from time to time. The weather can behave differently from time to time, as can people. Products, services, and systems can operate as expected, or they can behave erratically.

Components
Characteristics
Behavior
Context

Characteristics

Location Laws Size: Context Non-User Actors Available Resources

Behavior

Climate Sensory
People: Self

Self Characteristics

Age Sex Race Gender Identity Size: People Condition

Self Behavior

Habits Movements
People: Relational

Relational Characteristics

Sexual Orientation Relationships Social Class Knowledge

Relational Behavior

Personality
Design

Characteristics

Style Material Size: Design

Behavior

Configuration Operation
eyeglasses

Complex

Aspects of experiences that can be seen using common methods.

Read MoreComplex
boy holding a magnifying glass

Underlying

Aspects of experiences that are hard to see so they must be inspected up-close.

Read MoreUnderlying
a stethoscope

Core

Aspects of experiences that are the heart of a component.

Read MoreCore

Experience-Level Aspects

We have to use special lenses—ways of seeing—to notice experience-level aspects. These aspects of contexts, people, and designs can be hard to notice but with a little effort and the right research tools, they can become clear and they often unlock underlying reasons why a product, service, or system creates a rewarding experience.

Experience Theme
Complex
Underlying
Core
Context: Setting
Time
Interconnections Hierarchy
Social Norms
People: Meaning-Making

Complex

Language

Underlying

Culture Values

Core

Self-Concept Worldview
People: Motivation

Complex

Attention Attitude Subjective Norm Abilities

Underlying

Intention Role

Core

Sensations Mood
Design: Interaction
Purpose Accessibility Usefulness Usability
Affordances
Meaning

Sources

References and sources that support the inclusion of this Aspects of Experiences for Design component.

Business

Gilmore, J. H. (2016). Look: a practical guide for improving your observational skills. Austin, Texas: Greenleaf Book Group Press.