Friday, June 29, 2007

Speedbird: "Lessons from experience design"

File this one under "Damn! I wish I was smart enough to have written this!" - Adam Greenfield has a great blog about experience design on Speedbird. This opus makes me look pithy, but it's worth reading the whole thing.

The clear intention was to ensure that the customer interaction inscribed in each of these phases was designed to the same high standards as an IDEO mouse or shopping cart. But with the best of intentions, this way of thinking led Acela into error.

The assumptions embedded in the plan are too tightly coupled to one another. They feed from one to the next - remember the word - seamlessly, like brittle airline timetables so tightly scheduled that a delay anywhere in the densely-interwoven mesh of connections cascades through the entire system. When it all succeeds, it’s magnificent, but if any aspect of it fails, the whole thing falls apart.

I could almost hear the clicking sound when several ideas bouncing around my head fell into place as I read this.

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