These three things in isolation can capture one’s attention only for so long.  When put together in a manner that can bridge what happens on a computer and into our environment, it can stimulate an experience whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Speaker Tali Krakowsky breaks down what composes Experience Design. It takes 2D digitial media and applies it against the canvas of architecture to make an immersive meaningful experience. She presents the characteristic building blocks that are used to create such sophisticated environments in hopes that we can parlay it into our own understanding of design thinking and branding.

Experience Design is Ambient
Displays in this discipline are large-format attention getters yet they are subtle. They work in tandem with their surroundings, not against it. Krakowsky explains that the design needs to be ambient in a manner that invites the audience to spectate, not confront them.

Experience Design is Narrative
Many man hours are spent in designing, constructing displays, and deploying them. These efforts are orchestrated towards achieving something meaningful. Whether the goal is to propagate a commercial message or generate awareness for some other message, Experience Design aims to convey a story. Ultimately, it strives to have the audience take home the message, in addition to the unique experience.

Experience Design is about Choreographing the Story
Krakowsky explains we must choreograph media in a way that stimulates us to learn more about the story. She describes 3 ways in how media exudes behaviors that structures in our reality can be shaped to communicate a narrative.

1. Prescribed Behavior
Objects in our environment can be arranged in such a bold way that it commands a repertoire of strength, beauty, complexity, etc. A prescribing attribute is communicated by shape, size and color. Relative to the examples shown in the other types of behaviors, these types of pieces did not showcase any type of motion.

2. Responsive Behavior
These types of displays have the ability to observe their own surroundings and react accordingly. One example mentioned was an outdoor large scale stock ticker that was installed along the side of a building in Los Angeles. It spewed out numbers bi-directionally so that pedestrians and motorists parallel to it can see it. What makes it responsive is that the speed of how the numbers were spewed was relative to how busy the traffic was on the street. On a busy day, it would have the effect that the numbers were traveling along with the traffic. When there was no traffic, the ticker was inactive.

3. Interactive Behavior
Compared to responsive behavior, interactive requires direct human engagement and will respond to different inputs to yield different behaviors. Displays of this type elicit the audience to engage with it into a visual dialogue which consists of an exchange of actions.

Krakowsky describes “ambient”, “narrative”, and “chorographical” layout the general framework for what the core topic is about: “Building Fiction”. An interesting play of words where “building” is in reference to structural architecture in the real world and “fiction” plays off the virtual world of the digital domain. In order to build fiction, we must re-evaluate what we display and how we display it using the framework.

Experience Design re-imagines Rich Media Content
At an atomic level, we must re-think the actual 2D content of what we are displaying. The media can manifest itself either as vectors, video, bitmaps, audio etc. It can also be visualizations that model large statistical data which lends a dynamic nature to the content.


Experience Design re-imagines Image Delivery Systems
We need to rethink how to get digital media content to the audience in a non-traditional way. We habituate digital content to be on our LCD, CRT, plasma screens, etc. In order to break convention, Krakowsky and her team make use of projectors against non-flat surfaces, and LED lights.


Experience Design re-imagines Rich Media Environments
Finally, once we’ve re-evaluated what to display and how to display it, Krakowsky explains that we can scale it up from a flat 2D experience into an immersive one that engulfs the senses such that you are not standing in the real world but residing in a virtual one.


Much of the presentation’s elements are deceptively simple but the ideas are very abstract. She did a nice job of logically structuring her presentation in a way that was simple to follow and made great use of the examples such that it compliments the ideas. I thought it was a great introduction to Experience Design.