Stop Designing Products - experiences are what count...

Peter Merholz has an interesting article on industrial design blog Core77, declaring that "Experience IS the Product, and the only thing users care about." It rambles a bit (as do we all), but the fundamental point is made well enough: products exist only for the experiences they offer. Therefore, when designers constrain themselves to products instead of the underlying experiences, they miss the opportunities for real innovation.

Merholz uses several examples that are pretty well-worn in the product design world--Tivo, iPod, Flickr, ClearRX--and with varying success explains the product as the result of the experience rather than vice versa. However, by invoking the products which currently deliver these experiences, he leaves us in the mindset that these new products are the perfect solutions. Of course, they're not; and it can be pretty fun to speculate about how future products will deliver better experiences.

Take the iPod - the experience being delivered by this product is the ability to hear any of your music, anytime. That experience is limited by the size of the hard drive; simply improving the product would mean increasing the hard drive capacity. But improving the experience may mean removing the hard drive entirely, and having music wirelessly streamed to the user, on demand, from the Big Jukebox in the Sky! That's not even too far out in the future. But consider these others which are:

-Tiny speakers permanently implanted in your ears, so you'll never need headphones. Or...

-Focused sound projected down from satellites (this one's really out there) to your exact, tracked location on earth...

-Mind control of track selection, music to match your actual mood, etc...

-Any more ideas? Anyone?

1 comment:

Rafael said...

Maybe an "on-the-fly" music creation software implanted in your brain which composes music instantly based on your brainwave algorithmic patterns...COOL!