Lenses

Lenses:

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 actors 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

State Operation
eyeglasses

Bifocals

Aspects of experiences that can be seen using common methods.

Read MoreBifocals

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.

Themes
Bifocals
Magnifying Glass
Stethoscope
Context: Setting
Time
Interconnections Hierarchy
Social Norms
People: Meaning-Making

Bifocals

Language

Magnifying Glass

Culture Values

Stethoscope

Self-Concept Worldview
People: Motivation

Bifocals

Attention Attitude Subjective Norm Abilities

Magnifying Glass

Intention Role

Stethoscope

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.