NEXT16: Brian Solis on experience, feelings and innovation

Design is not how it looks. Design is how it feels. Brian Solis wants us to create great feelings - and escape the 70 button trap.

Warning: Liveblogging. Prone to error, inaccuracy and terrible crimes against grammar and syntax. Post will be updated over the next 48 hours.

We use “experience” like we use “innovation” or “disruption”. I’m not sure anyone could tell you what it is. What could a book experience be in 2016. Teenagers have to used textbooks still – but there’s no way they comprehend them the way we did decades ago. So – maybe the book is an analogue app. There’s no need for a table of contents – because our brains don’t work in a linear way.

An experience is something that is value to someone other than you. And once you reach that, you have to reach for things like empathy then.

One of the most fascinating thing we see about disruption today is that it has everything to do with missing how pope are changing. We get so stuck in processes that surround us with safety. It’s easy to forget that there are real people on the other side of the screen – and we have to bring them into the work. If we don’t. we’re not innovating, we’re iterating; doing the old things better. If you create new value – that’s innovation. And if that makes the old things obsolete, that’s disruption.

Good feelings

Experience is something you feel, measured by how you react. We have emotional reactions to experiences. We have tod design what people should feel – and than make sure our architecture is true to that vision at every step. Right now, we’re not designing these experience, we’re telling people how to feel. But that’s not working. Now we’re all connected, people are telling each other what they feel.

Uber’s experience architecture is changing people’s expectations of their services. You come to expect it. How long is too long to wait for an Uber before you open Lyft? In New York, that’s four minutes. What happened in out lives that four minutes waiting become too long? We start to change.

We can’t innovate if we don’t try something new. We can’t lead the way, unless there are people to follow us. Think about you last really great experience – thats’ what you have to create for others. And that means breaking away from the metrics of success we used yesterday. We need to learn to unlearn. True innovation is the ability to see what’s broke; what doesn’t work. Too many of us confuse iteration and innovation. The people we’re designing for are not us.

Egosystems and accidental narcissists

We’re creating an egosystem – it’s teaching us that we’re centre of the universe. That’s why we feel bad when something we share on Facebook doesn’t get likes. It turns us into accidental narcissists. And we’re also becoming digital introverts. It’s becoming hard for us to call someone. No-one looks forwards to calling customer service.

The line between online and offline is blurring. We need to design experiences that span the virtual and physical worlds, which are faster, simpler and validating. These are all considerations we have to take into account as we design. Those humans on the other side of the screen probably behave differently to the way we presume. We need to conform to the way they’re living their lives. Once they’ve experienced something good, that becomes their new standard.

Escaping iteration to experience innovation

No-one in the room like their remote control. That’s the result of iteration not innovation. We have 70 buttons on them on average. The iPhone is dropping buttons’ dn we still have 70 of them on a TV remote.

We can’t just talk about the company, or the brand. We have to talk to the experience. The brand is the experience. I shouldn’t have to lie to you to get you to like something. How are we going to design every aspect of the customer experience? All the elements are handled by different people. But the customers don’t see all the politics and egos and divisions in the company. They just see the experience. Every aspect of Disneyland was designed to create an experience.

First steps

Where do you start?

  • Fix the fundamentals
  • Eliminate friction
  • Differentiate
  • Innovate – don’t look at your competitors. Look outside the industry. Just watching your competitors will hold you back.

If you’re waiting for someone to tell you how to do things differently, you can’t innovate. Experience architecture is an art and a science. You need to start with a blank canvas sometimes. Then it becomes yours to design.