Adam Greenfield seemed really excited about Matt Webb’s year-end wrap-up, so I checked it out. It’s a bit of an abstract ramble of ideas, which didn’t excite me as much. But one idea sparked a thought:
“In order to keep going, the path of a user through a website must be designed to never end. In order for the website to grow, the path of the user must be designed to bring in more users, as in a nuclear chain reaction.”
While he’s talking about a website, I don’t see why this wouldn’t apply to all products and services. The the point that is interesting is “designed to never end.” Often in design, we create flow charts or service blueprints—documents that show the beginning of the experience and where it ends. While these have their value, should we also create models of the experience that don’t end?
This reminds me of my thoughts on changing the way businesses think about cost, which was stimulated by feedback from UPMC regarding our design solutions. They asked how we could create buy-in or show that our designs reduce cost. If there were ways to show the experience as endless, continually growing, could this help the argument that producing great experiences that keep people engaged and coming back for more is a more fulfilling (both for the consumer and producer) than reducing costs (not that reducing costs isn’t important, just not the most important aspect)?
I believe I read something recently—perhaps in BusinessWeek—that mentioned companies are starting to focus more on the experience than the cost. So perhaps this change is beginning.
The business case aside, the idea of products and services designed to never end seems worthy of keeping in mind.