Is the Age of Experience Design-driven or Science-driven?

By Alyssa
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By Philippe Laufer, CEO, CATIA, Dassault Systèmes

Mathematics, mechanics, electronics, systems, simulation—these are usually seen as concepts of science, not usually associated with “Art” or “Design”. Yet the Designer of a wireless Bluetooth speaker with patterned smart light, natural wake alarm and remote control looked to the fruits of science for the elements to create this consumer experience.

So what comes first? Does Science drive Design? Or does Design drive Science?

When the first cellular phones came out, you had to carry them in a bag… One of the first “portable” computers from IBM in 1984 had a nine inch monochrome monitor, 5¼ inch floppy disk drives, 256 kB of memory (expandable to 512 kB), a 4.77 MHz CPU and weighed 30 pounds (13.6 kg). This was not so much a laptop as a “luggable.”

But thirty years ago, these products awakened consumer experience excitement. You were no longer tied to your office. You had a personal phone on the road. But what IF WE could make electronics smaller, expand data storage while shrinking its size and weight, expand the monitor, add color, eliminate keyboards, lower power consumption and create a better power source?

Just maybe a gifted designer could leverage these advances into a product small enough to fit in your pocket, maybe with a phone, a camera, voice and video recorders, and more. And with further exploration, modeling, ‘Cognitive Augmented Design’ (CAD) and collaboration with other disciplines, perhaps create an experience that would sweep the world.

Great experiences seem to arrive from a confluence of Design and Science. Scientific exploration helps liberate Design to expand into areas of speculation, and then inspiration drives Design further to explore what is physically possible. Design leverages theoretical and mathematical components. It transforms shape and style into real objects—products, buildings, systems—that fulfill needs for customers.

Experience thinking asks the questions and channels the inspiration of design—bringing new technologies in manufacturing processes such as 3D printing, materials, Cyber Systems, chemical and others into a solution—using and then meeting the requests, perceptions and desires of customers. This is the promise and the challenge of Design in the Age of Experience.

Designers, engineers and industry leaders from around the world will come together at Dassault Systèmes’ Design in the Age of Experience event April 4-5 during Milan Design Week. I’ll be there, and look forward to seeing you as we explore the shift from designing products to forming consumer experiences. For more information, you can visit the event website.

Why EXPERIENCE Thinking? (And not just Design Thinking)

By Alyssa
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By Valerie Pegon, Experience designer & Innovation Strategist, Dassault Systèmes

Designers hate to stand still. They permanently reflect back on their practice, redesigning and testing, in order to improve it.  Every time, when something seems sorted, another challenge emerges.  Little by little, the practice gets more professional, and more specialized.  But occasionally, there is a need for regrouping, for reconnecting.  It is with this intention that we reflected back on design thinking and saw opportunities to make it more powerful.

Unfortunately, design thinking is often reduced to a recipe, to define user journeys that are relevant to today’s user needs.  But what about tasting the dish to check how it is coming along? What about gathering the right ingredients (the diversity of people, a broader knowledge, unusual ingredients)?  What about the restaurant itself and the suppliers (the organisation, the partners and the business models)? And tomorrow?

We believe Experience Thinking can take companies to another level; helping businesses in their transformation. There are indeed a few top-level challenges and opportunities it can help with.

First, agility. While it may sound obvious for digital companies, agility remains complex for other industries. However, the evolutions of technologies and science unlock new possibilities that designers can start to harness. Imagine, as a designer, being able to simulate your design right away, in real time. Or being able to test virtual experiences quickly, as if you were there, without having to develop a full serious game?

Second, the Internet of Things. Remember Gartner’s hype curve: the hype may be over today but now, the possibilities are here for you to grasp. Sensing and data analytics enable a continuous feedback loop to improve new designs, to adapt in real time. Connected objects enable services that totally change the way people use products, the business models and even the approach to designing these products and services together, as a whole.

Third, social systems. Like cities, the systems companies create are multi-player and contextually adapting to a wide range of users and stakeholders. Building these ecosystems require some level of structure (we talk about “experience architecture”) to work smoothly, a high level of flexibility and a deep connection to the context and usage.

In the end, we always come back to the experience, because that is where the value lies. But the way we think and enable the experience we dream of is changing.

Discover more about Design in the Age of Experience at our event website

Find out about Dassault Systèmes’ Design Studio here.

 

 

Experience Thinking: The New Shift

By Anne
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By Anne Asensio, Vice President, Design, Dassault Systèmes

In the Age of Experience, customer expectation has been transformed. It’s not just a good idea for a company or a brand to deliver an experience with their product: it is imperative when you want to have a real impact on the market. This is changing the scope of what it means to Design.

Design has evolved beyond modeling products. Products used to be the direct expression of the design intent, defined under the physical constraints of available technologies, materials, ergonomics and well defined tasks and functions. But in the Age of Experience, products are dematerialized, reduced to “black boxes”, while integrating the realm of our augmented life.

The scope and value of Design is now at a critical place.

Design’s perspective is moving from designing products to designing experiences, engaging final users in a totally new way. It goes beyond aesthetics to genuine social means, investing in a larger scope of actions across a large spectrum of new disciplines. This “transdisciplinarity” of Design impacts business models, creates new offerings and new social engagement, and convokes new uses of science for designing meaningful and sustainable experiences.

We traditionally consider “Design Thinking” as placing the “human” at the center of the project or value proposition and deciphering what people really want, but fail to express. Design Thinking was the first visible step of Design transformation, moving from the individual designer’s subjective concept towards an empathic model of engagement, leveraging a social participative approach and multiple viewpoints.

Businesses use Design Thinking to identify market opportunity and build a solution that delivers customer value.  It’s an improvement for designing a better product with clear identity, efficiency, and well-defined utilities. But the world and Design have quickly moved on to broader and more holistic issues, tackling complex systems and considering the full technological and service ecosystem by co-defining with users what makes up a unique and continuous experience.

This broader realm of “Experience Thinking” encompasses a new scope for designers, going beyond functions and harnessing the emotive power of customer experience. They script future scenarios and craft real-time 3D prototypes, use immersive technologies and virtual universes, and develop 3D digital masters with integrated information.  Designers are acquiring abilities to access new information, including knowledge gathered from studies, but also a large variety of Data captured from sensors. These combined social and science-based data provide new material for designer creativity.

Digital content is the new nexus for thoughts, interpretation and decision making. The right tools and platform for ideation, virtualization, manufacturability and sustainability enable designers and businesses to view and validate experiential designs at any stage of the development process. Designers can craft the links between products and their interactions, making visible the emotional connections and their use. Data and senses combine for new balanced proposals.

Where we go from here depends on how we use Design to transform companies’ business ecosystems to create designs that captivate users, accelerate technology adoption and deliver ethical and sustainable experiences. Users will “co-design”, modifying deeply our life experiences and changing forever the way people live, travel and interact with technology in the future.

Design professionals across industries (such as architects, industrial designers and transportation specialists) can today transform their processes, methodologies and applications for experience thinking to imagine, design and fabricate innovative proposals.

Collaborating within this new innovation environment, experience thinking can help a business build its brand’s promise and the accompanying emotions it evokes. Then, each customer experience stands on its own as a singular achievement, but also provides a perfect center of gravity that builds brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Discover more about Design in the Age of Experience at our event website.

Find out about Dassault Systèmes’ Design Studio here.

 

 



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