UX London presented by Clearleft

19th21st May 2010 Cumberland Hotel, London

Designing for Improvisation

Day 1

With every experience you design, do you know how people will behave? Should you? Are the pathways people take planned, the language they use learned, the etiquettes they exercise expected? Most likely not.

People are improvising. From the first time people come across your product or service, they begin defining their own sets of rules and behaviors regardless of what you had in mind. They’re not behaving based on your experiences, but on what they know. They’re making it up as they go along. You’re merely putting forth opportunities for people to use—giving them connections to take advantage of (or not). When people are allowed to improvise, it leads to more satisfying user experiences. How can we make sure we’re designing satisfying opportunities to improvise?

Drawing on improvised models from urban planning to jazz, Liz Danzico investigates these emerging behaviors at work and illustrates six ways we can create opportunities for improv in our own design. Walk away with more satisfying ways for people to make it up as they go along.