Experience System: an approach to go beyond Design Systems
Recently, I've been reading loads of articles related to Design Systems. From where I stand, we have been struggling to adopt successful Design Systems since the last century, when designers started creating visual identities for systems and brands. Consequently, Design System is not a new subject, but it still needs to be scaled up to release digital services.
However, as a UX Analyst, I find that User Experience is much more than the sum of interface components and the consistency their consistency. Delivering a perfect and faultless experience means diving deeply into tough questions which are impossible to solve only with aesthetics.
The Spectrum of UX
The AI's website published a post about the Spectrum of UX eight years ago . It consists of three pillars — Technology, Economy and Design.
iA User Experience Skill Force Fields Diagram:
According to the above diagram, providing a relevant and meaningful experience to our customers demands considering not only variables related to Design, but also business strategies and technology.
As far as I know, information technology has improved dramatically in the last ten years and the capacity of processing data in real time has reached levels where Quantum computing is currently a reality — and it's one of the significant steps to providing unique and customised digital experiences for customers.
Experience System to consider all the parts of the UX Spectrum
Firstly, to figure out what an Experience System is, it’s necessary to have understood another term first: Adaptative System. It was mentioned in a post published by the New England Complex System Institute, and its definition is totally clear, despite the challenge of putting this concept into practice.
An adaptive system (or a complex adaptive system, CAS) is a system that changes its behavior in response to its environment. The adaptive change that occurs is often relevant to achieving a goal or objective. We tend to associate adaptive behavior with individual plants, animals human beings, or social groups. However, relatively simple systems can also be adaptive.
To consider all the elements of the UX Spectrum, an Experience System must include advanced front-end and back-end technologies, to adapt the experience from customers' behaviour and expectations and link them with the business strategy behind it.
To my mind, the Experience System might be understood as a continuous strategic plan, resulting from a combination of the Adaptative System and Design System, to provide unique and meaningful experiences for each digital service customer.
The elements of an Experience System
Well, there isn’t one definitive answer, because this topic is such a grey area. However, we might consider some driving forces to provide shortcuts to understand the system and think about the elements of an Experience System:
- Thick data and the development of CRM technologies: to deliver meaningful experiences, it's necessary to know in further detail who is accessing a system and collecting and processing information about it in real time.
- The evolution of machine learning and real-time data processing: With data lakes and business rules written in algorithms and using machine learning as an ally, it's possible to deliver different experiences to niche groups, focused on customer satisfaction and sales conversion rate ;)
- The advancement of Web Analytic platforms: to monitor how successful the system is and to refine algorithms, web analytics is mandatory. As far as I'm concerned, Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics are fantastic platforms to track user navigation and media campaigns.
- The possibility of building reactive and scalable interface components: The enhancement of front-end and web service technologies produce infinite possibilities of using data and sharing data through systems, which was impossible to imagine years ago.
- The adoption of smart devices and sensors in physical places: With the reduction of the cost of hardware, pervasive computing will not only become feasible, but also viable from the business perspective. Amazon Go is a good example of the adoption of sensors in physical places because it's more than a way of facilitating the checkout process, but it's also a strategy to understand the nutritional habits among other data from people who use this service.
Despite the uncertainties about the Experience System, there is one thing that is crucial to put on the table. Data and knowledge obtained from data are the DNA of digital services. What's more, system integration will be critical in this process, owing to the need for sharing data through systems to generate useful knowledge.
In the long run, people will interact with systems using devices we can't predict nowadays. Smartphones are likely to become obsolete in a few years, but data clusters and integrated systems will remain in cloud storages to be used, no matter which devices and interfaces people will use to access them.
In financial enterprises, it's going to be more vital in the future, as written in this Bloomberg.com post.
Data is the lifeblood of the digital financial enterprise. From a basic lending activity to the most structured financial instrument, a firm relies upon the quality of its data to make decisions. Given increasing data complexity, determining who exercises control over data is a fundamental concern for firms, critical to both growth and cost management.
Broaden your horizons. Live long and prosper with Experience Systems.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts ;)