●MAKE THE COM­PLEX CLEAR

BY MARIA GI­U­DICE The VP for ex­pe­ri­ence de­sign at Au­todesk on cre­at­ing busi­ness prod­ucts that pro­duce emo­tional con­nec­tions

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Strategies -

En­ter­prise prod­ucts can be so dis­re­spect­ful to the user. The mes­sage is, “You gotta use these prod­ucts, so screw you, suck it up.” There’s this as­sump­tion: “Oh, our prod­ucts are so com­plex, they can’t be sim­pler to use.” It’s all about be­ing se­ri­ous, sta­ble, per­for­mance-driven. Hey, that’s ta­ble stakes! We have this op­por­tu­nity to re­ally think about those prod­ucts in a new way and not hide be­hind the com­plex­ity. Our job is to make the com­plex clear. This is where we need to go.

I grew up in a time when we were just grate­ful if things worked. We live in a world where a whole pop­u­la­tion ex­pects good, fluid ex­pe­ri­ences. This is where con­sumer and en­ter­prise are mesh­ing. We al­ways saw a line be­tween en­ter­prise prod­ucts that were pow­er­ful and con­sumer prod­ucts that were lightweight and emo­tive. There’s a whole

pop­u­la­tion that doesn’t see that. They work at home; they play at work. That’s why I’ve been think­ing about emo­tions and prod­uct de­sign. That con­nec­tion goes way back in the world of phys­i­cal prod­ucts. But emo­tion is still not con­sid­ered much in dig­i­tal prod­ucts. There are ex­cep­tions—uber shows the tiny cars mov­ing around your phone’s screen. I might hate Uber as a brand, and I know that the in­ter­face isn’t even ac­cu­rately map­ping the cars on my screen, yet it’s so com­fort­ing and de­light­ful to see the lit­tle cars! That’s a prod­uct where peo­ple are con­sid­er­ing hu­man emo­tion.

When we think about de­sign­ing prod­ucts well, the sci­ence be­hind cre­at­ing emo­tional con­nec­tions to our prod­ucts is called an­thro­po­mor­phism. We should be de­sign­ing in­ter­faces as if they were peo­ple. That changes the re­la­tion­ship you have to the prod­uct. With ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, ma­chine learn­ing, the rise of ro­bots—all these things—the re­la­tion­ship you’re go­ing to have with dig­i­tal de­vices will be less di­rected and more about co-cre­ation. With tra­di­tional prod­ucts right now, we don’t know enough out of the gate, so we give cus­tomers a 10-course meal all at the same time. The more we know about our cus­tomers, the more we

know about what they need next. The ma­chine is go­ing to know so much about you and your be­hav­ior that, rather than you telling the ma­chine what to do, the ma­chine will of­fer up what you should be do­ing.

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