Enhancing Our Experiences

Last week, while I was running, I was pondering the different routes I could take home. My goal was to get the most mileage I could. Both routes were probably around the same distance, so I focused on which one would enhance my experience. One was along a busy road with businesses and the other was along a more quiet road with beautiful homes and gardens.

Guess which one I took?

This made me think about another route choice while driving and how different people approach this differently. At the end of the highway, there is a light. If I take one route, it goes through a more industrial area, but I don’t have to stop and wait. I may get home a little earlier, increasing the value of taking that route. However, it’s not as pretty as going through the neighborhoods, enhancing my visual experience. My son and I always will take the more aesthetically-pleasing route, while my husband takes the more utilitarian approach and will take the faster route.

This made me then think of the experiences I design and whether an enhanced experience may help convince someone to stick around and explore. Combining the flow and ease-fulness through the site should never be compromised for aesthetics, but, I do think they can be combined to create an even better experience. We all love and are drawn to beautiful and enjoyable things. Why not enhance this and go for the desirable as long as it doesn’t take away from the usefulness and usability?

2 Comments

  1. Margot Bloomstein
    July 2, 2013

    Lori, this rings so true. You know I beat the drum for optimizing experiences for the right speed, not just efficiency. But I don’t think I’ve ever considered how I do that in the real world, too. I always choose my routes through and to Boston based on the views. Even after living here for more than a decade, I never miss a chance to catch the sunset on the State House dome, the view from the Mass Ave bridge, or the soaring feeling when the whole downtown skyline first comes into view on Route 2. If only Google Maps would optimize for THOSE kinds of goals!

    Reply
    • Lori Widelitz-Cavallucci
      July 3, 2013

      Thanks for your comments, Margot. I believe if time isn’t a concern for people, they may choose the more pleasing experience, as we both do. If we think about this in various contexts, optimizing the entire experience across different touchpoints, we may further enhance the entire experience a person may have. As you know, MINI does a great job of this. Maybe they can use these thoughts for their navigation system. :-)

      While out for my run this morning, I thought about your comments and this whole idea of slow experiences a little more. During the run I spoke about in my post, the route I chose to take was the more challenging, as it was very hilly. Yet, even after nine miles, it’s the one I chose. Now how do we create and optimize experiences so people don’t mind (or maybe even embrace) those challenges?

      Reply

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