Meaningful Experience Design
Most designs today focus on creating tangible experiences: shopping for a product, navigating through a place, delivering information, etc. Design tells people both what is important and how to move through an experience. Good design seeks to improve (simplify, make sense of, enhance) that experience. Yet, how is design used to improve human experiences that are not tangible—empathy, emotion, connection, self-awareness, inspiration, etc.?
15 Core Meanings: accomplishment, beauty, creation, community, duty, enlightenment, freedom, harmony, justice, oneness, redemption, security, truth, validation, wonder.
Meaning: transcends values, is personal, more valuable than price and performance, lasts longer than emotions, the deepest connection you can make with customer/user/audience. How does design evoke meaning for the individual?
What is meaning?
Meaning is a distinct level of cognitive significance that represents how people understand the world around them–literally, the reality they construct in their minds that explains the world they experience. Meaning is the deepest level of this understanding and is distinct from Values, Emotions, and functional or financial benefits:
- Meaning (our sense of reality)
- Values (our sense of identity)
- Value (our sense of what something is “worth,” financial benefits)
- Features (functional benefits)
- The Meaning of Things, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi