Activity and Experience Focused Design Are Paramount

Jared M. Spool has some spot-on insights about design that he’s boiled down to 5 key design approaches:

  1. Unintended: nobody bothers to think about the design at all. “Organic” in every sense.
  2. Self: this one is intended design, but only such that it works for yourself or your team.
  3. Genius*: builds upon the previous experience of those creating the design. You hope that experience is good enough to produce a good design.
  4. Activity focused: usability testing is employed to figure out just how to best design for certain activities (in mapping, an activity might be navigation).
  5. Experience focused: looking beyond the immediate needs of the design toward needs that may not have even been recognized yet, but that become apparent once you research users.


For more information on these, check out Spool’s keynote from the 2013 Esri International Developer Summit:


*I would have called this one “experienced” focused and found another name for #5, but I’m sticking with Spool’s nomenclature here.

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