The art of measuring what matters - Easy A

a lecture held at WHITE architects 2017         

Alex Wolfe

Head of Design at Guringo Design Studio             

Quantifying emotional response

If new behaviours and patterns don´t make you feel anything, chances are you won´t change.

In the increasing global emphasis on sustainable development a lot of focus is spent on the physical lifecycle of what we consume, build and burn.

However, if we are to truly influence change I believe we need primarily to address emotional rather than intellectual responses. Let people act from the heart and let the brain understand and sort out the results later.

Thus LCA, lifecycle analysis, that measures material lifespan, chemicals and so on is of course a vital part and responsibility for anyone creating new stuff but is it the most important quantifier? Instead of trying to soften the blow after the deed is done, creating less bad impact, we can start by understanding the emotional experiences that lead up to the point of interaction with our product. From that point we can design solutions that influence and nudge towards new behaviours – creating more good.

Experience Cycle Analysis - the ECA

Positive new behaviours also create a momentum in themselves influencing even new insights and behaviours. Let´s call this the experience cycle.

So in the design process we analyse the experience cycle before making our design choices and setting a path to materialization. The experience cycle can be likened to a continuous flow of time. For a specific product or service we decide where the relevant experience-cycle analysis (ECA) start and where it ends. For example, the ECA can start when the user wakes up and pass through the interaction with the product and end two weeks later, or a year later or whatever timespan that makes sense in connection with the specific product.

Over the course of the ECA we see what kind of emotional influence we want to introduce to the user. This gives us a backbone understanding of what kind of product we need to create and the underlying ecosystem-structure needed for such a project. From the ECA platform we can create good designs that matter and make a difference.