PED - From Game Design to Experience Design

Part Four of the Principles of Experience Design Series

In the previous post in the series, we discussed the DESIGN ONCE, EXPERIENCE MANY TIMES model created by game designers to explore the experiences they create for game players. The Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics model is a very powerful one, but there are three important limits to understand about the model.
  1. The mechanics are fixed
  2. The game design assumes a desired set of aesthetics
  3. The game design makes assumptions about how the user will interact with the game (the dynamics)

An experience designer has the opportunity to provide a richer experience by exploiting these constraints, through:
  1. Asking for and receiving feedback on desired aesthetics
  2. Asking for and receiving feedback on how dynamics are working
  3. Evolving mechanics

Why is this important? Let's pretend for a moment that you are an aspiring actor/singer/dancer who is waiting tables at a neighborhood ethnic restaurant while waiting for your big break. Money is tight, every dollar of tip income means something! You've been assigned 3 tables. At the first is an elderly couple with their three grandchildren. They've been coming here weekly for years and always order the same thing. The kids seem a little more rambunctious than usual tonight. At the second table are two men in business suits - a salesman with an important prospective client with whom he wants to build a stronger relationship. The final table contains a group of people who meet monthly to try different restaurants to build their knowledge of cuisine. You could serve them all identically and according to your training, but the opportunity for designing superior experiences (and bigger tips) awaits you!

Let's start with the couple and their unruly grandchildren. What can you do to make their experience more better? They're regulars that order the same thing each time, but there's one difference this evening. The kids are acting up, so they might value speed of execution tonight. So you ask them "Would you like to see a menu, or should I just place your usual order to save you a little time tonight?" Their answer gives you feedback on their desired aesthetic, and they probably want to get the little darlings home to their parents as quickly as possible tonight.

The salesman at the next table has a very different agenda. In fact, maximizing the amount of time pleasurably spent would be high on his list. This would be a good scenario for your best "attentive but not intrusive" routine. Your goal is to ensure that they keep their conversation going. You want to get good feedback on how the dinner is going, so that if you need to pay more or less attention, you can.

The final group tells you who they are and asks for recommendations of dishes that represent the cuisine well. Your recommendations and your discussion of the history and variety of the cuisine are well appreciated by this group, but would not have been by the others. Then you offer that one of the cooks grew up in the country of cuisine origin, and has a few signature dishes that are considered by management to be to exotic for the menu. You ask if, as students of the cuisine, they would like to try one, and they're extremely happy with your evolving dining mechanics!

Can you think of other things you could do to enhance the experience of each group?

It is interesting to see how the basic MDA model still applies. Designing any experience starts with knowing the desired aesthetics, and then selecting the appropriate mechanics to cause the dynamics that produce those desired aesthetics in the mind of the experiencers. The challenges of moving from design once, experience many times to design-one-or-many-times, experience once-or-many-times are the elements of feedback and evolving mechanics.

The way most organizations deal with these challenges is to include PEOPLE as part of the mechanics. That introduces the notion of a multilevel experience, because now the person involved in creating the experience is having their own experience in the process! And the quality of the provider's experience can have a profound effect on the end experiencer! That's one of the key reasons that restauranteur Danny Meyer believes that he must focus first on the experiences of his employees in order to provide great customer service.
Meyer reinforced that the first and most important application of hospitality is to the people who work for you, and then, in descending order of priority, to the guests, the community, the suppliers, and the investors. “By putting your employees first, you have happier employees, which then lead to a higher HQ. A higher HQ leads to happy customers, which benefits all the stakeholders. The cycle is virtuous, not linear, because the stakeholders all impact each other.”
Too bad more people don't look at things this way.

Next time we'll talk about how process design and experience design are related, and a great methodology for designing processes with superior feedback mechanisms. After that, customer delight!

Part 4 of the Principles of Experience Design series:
  1. Introduction
  2. Anatomy of a Joke
  3. The Game Designer's Model

Don't miss a single part of the series; Subscribe to Spooky Action today!

posted by Mike at 12:34 PM 0 comments links to this post



It's true! Multiple independent studies in cities across the United States have shown a significant correlation between the rates of ice cream consumption and violent crimes (both murder and rape). Detailed analyses confirm that the rate of ice cream consumption jumps several hours before that of violent crime. And finally, interviews with convicted felons revealed that a higher percentage of them admitted to eating ice cream shortly before committing their crimes during those peak periods!

Hundreds of statisticians have examined this evidence and not one has disputed the validity of these statistics!

Yet there are those who contend that the increase in crime is a consequence of "natural climatological fluctuations". They cite studies of heat wave / crime wave correlation in lactose-enlightened countries. They also point to heat wave / ice cream consumption correlation in non-violent populations. Most disturbingly, they offer evidence of lactose-intolerant violent criminals, which would seem to invalidate the entire ice cream -> crime cause-and-effect relationship.

I can't help thinking they have a point, but I could be wrong...

posted by Mike at 6:09 AM 25 comments links to this post


What Gift Would You Give If You Knew You Could Not Fail?

We've all heard the old question: "What would you DO if you knew you could not fail?" How many of us have answered it, without making a commitment to doing anything about it?

Yeah, me too.

Recently, Liz Strauss blogged about giving when no one notices. That got me wondering. If we give with an expectation of some return, is it really a gift? Or is it a payment? Where is the line between a true gift and a payment/investment? As it turns out, every gift is an investment. The only difference is our expectation of the nature and timing of the payoff. Karin noted over at Liz's post that "Givers always gain; receivers maybe".

All this made me wonder if the "What would you do?" question isn't inherently limiting. It focuses on the cause of a benefit, not on the benefit itself. And the benefit is the real goal. With the 'do' question we focus on ourselves. With the 'give' question, we focus on the benefit to both ourselves and others. It's bigger; it's win-win; in my mind, at least, it's more compelling!

How does that feel to you?

Go ahead; give it a try. How would you answer the question "What gift would you give if you knew you could not fail?" It's okay to start small, but doesn't it give you more energy to think of things this way? Commit to giving just one gift like this, and let me know how it works!

[Originally posted at 100 Bloggers]

posted by Mike at 10:13 AM 8 comments links to this post


The Unbearable Lightbulbiness of Beings

Liz Strauss has a brilliant post containing the only 3 questions that count in hiring someone:
  1. Can this person do the job? This question is about the job or project description — expertise, skill set, and industry experience — salary is included here.
  2. Will this person do the job? This question is about motivation, energy, and work ethic.
  3. How will this person fit with the team? This question is about interpersonal skills, stress management, and communication.

I will say that if you can answer these three questions about a candidate, they will succeed in the job. But my experience tells me that you need to answer one more: How willing is this person to change? Particularly in start-ups, people will be asked to change hats and titles and duties on a regular basis. In large organizations, the semi-annual reorganization is bound to force change on people.

I discussed this topic in my podcast Four Jokes to Live By, starting with this joke:
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Only one, but the lightbulb really has to want to change!"

How does that apply to hiring practices? Well, people have varying levels of "lightbulbiness" - resistance to change - in their world views. How many women have said to their bridesmaids "He's not much right now, but I can change him", only to realize later that they married a lightbulb?

One of the counterintuitive principles in the book "Good to Great" is "First Who, Then What", which says that you need to get the right people on the bus before deciding where the bus is going. Yet most hiring processes focus on fit to current position. Doing this rigorously will get you an entire busload of lightbulbs!

We all have varying levels of lightbulbiness within us. The important thing is that we don't set goals in conflict with those areas of high lightbulbiness (also know as our core identity and beliefs). That's a simple, yet oft-repeated recipe for failure! And as a hiring manager, you need to assess the lightbulbiness of your team members with respect to any new initiative you need them to help with.

Okay, I've flogged the daylights out of that metaphor. The material in the podcast is much more entertaining. Check it out if you've got 15 minutes to spare.

posted by Mike at 3:20 PM 0 comments links to this post

My BusinessPundit Resume

Rob over at BusinessPundit is looking for additional contributors:
"What am I looking for? The primary criterion is that you love business. You should enjoy reading about business, thinking about business, talking about business, writing about business, and engaging in business. You have to be willing to be a little controversial, and not afraid of criticism. It helps if you have a particular interest in some or all of the following: entrepreneurship, finance/accounting, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, economics, new technology, management, strategy, execution, and leadership. It probably helps if you are a bit skeptical of manias and fads, and are highly interested in the thought processes and decision making side of business. It also helps if you are interested in how the academic side of business can be applied to the real world. Prior writing or blogging experience isn't necessary, but it does help. You should also be able to write at least one post of decent length every week, or multiple short posts about newsworthy issues."
Regular Spooky Action readers will recognize many of these qualities in your humble host, but I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself to the folks at Creative Weblogging. Here are a few posts that show the kinds of BusinessPundit-y writing I've done in the past couple of years:

Spooky Action Predicts: Nick Carr has your number! (.8 probability) If you can read only one post to decide if I fit, this is the one. Carr caused a firestorm of controversy in the IT realm when he published the HBR article "IT Doesn't Matter", but this post outlines exactly why he's right for most organizations. Where else will you find Cerberus (the three-headed guardian of the underworld), William James (the father of American psychology), Robert Cialdini, and Jim Collins tied together in one post?

The Theory and Practice of Customer Delight in a Nutshell Everybody likes to talk about customer delight, and plenty has been written about the topic. This post explains the simple secret to creating delight, and points to some source material for futher reading.

Good To Great Throughout the Ages which answers the question: "If we pass the bright light of G2G through the prism of epic mythology, what will project onto the opposite wall?" It turns out that the key tenets of G2G can be found in most epic mythology, and what that implies for today's organization.

Why Co-workers Hoard Information The simple, visual answer:

I discussed a counterexample attitude from David Maister, the professional services guru - AND HE COMMENTED!

A Lattice of Insights from Charlie Munger Nobody knows the intersection of cognitive psychology and business like Charlie Munger. This post highlights key points of a speech he made looking at the soft science of economics from a hard science viewpoint.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Concepts How's this for 'skeptical of manias and fads':
"How can such bad things happen to good concepts?

Simple. The executive who read about the new concept in Harvard Business Review doesn't really want to apply the concept. No, he wants an instant application that gives him the same results as the HBR case study! And he wants it in time to effect this year's earnings!! There's no time for a complete definition of context, and besides, we're mostly similar to those other companies anyway, so let's bring in a complete application, tweak it for the most important unique characteristics of our company, and get a quick win!

But since we don't know anything about the new concept - and because we're in a hurry - we don't realize that the color of the boot was only relevant because the last application the consultant built was at a bullfighting establishment in Matamoros. Dios Mio!"

Part Two of the series sparked a controversy that spilled into the comments section...

Part Three answered the question "Is there a downside to collaboration?" by providing a simple, two question test to decide when your collaboration efforts have gone from good to bad.

Meet the Nick Carr of Organizational Change Management Nick Carr may have said IT doesn't matter, but Prof. Chris Grey took on the entire notion of managing organizational change! His piece was rather long, so I excerpted the juiciest bits and added additional insight regarding the foibles of many common change practices and how to avoid them.

How to Make Important Decisions Looking for 'the decision-making side of business' and 'application of academic theory'? Here you go!

Jim Collins on the Carly Fiorina Story Sometimes 25 characters is all it takes...

There's more where that came from, but that should give you a clear idea of who I am, what I have to say, and how I say it. Thank you in advance for your consideration!

posted by Mike at 11:50 AM 4 comments links to this post


Where is the Line Between Gift and Investment?

Liz Strauss has an interesting post entitled Change the World: Give When No One Notices, in which she talks about the book "The Giving Tree", and her changing view of the story over time. She also speaks about Nelson Mandela:
"The difference between a victim and a Nelson Mandela is a choice in the mind of the giver.

We choose unconditional love or choose to be a victim. The response of the one who receives doesn’t enter into the decision. Many who were helped by Nelson Mandela showed and felt no response to his gift. Yet he didn’t become the victim.

That one choice by Nelson Mandela so inspires me to make the same kind of choices in my own far less burdensome situations.

Sometimes we give and no one seems to notice. That doesn’t matter. Does it?"
In my previous post A Bit of Friendly Advice, I opined that there is no benefit to self-pity and a scarcity mentality. Liz's post is very much aligned with those thoughts, but more articulate in the prescription for how to live.

People suffering from scarcity mentality only give when there is an expectation of getting something in return. But this isn't really giving; it's investing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Without investment in relationships there'd be society as we know it.

The problem comes (as Liz points out) when your 'gift' doesn't pay the expected dividend. As a giver, you then have a choice to make. You can feel wronged. You can choose not to give again. Or you can realize that a gift is truly a gift when there is no expectation of return; only gratitude for being able to give.

Let's use my friendly advice as an example. If I offer it with the expectation that it will result in immediate behavior change, I'm in for great disappointment. If I offer it with expectation that it will be immediately appreciated, same thing. Since it's unsolicited advice, I will most likely get just the opposite. But I think that the ideas can be of real value to the receiver, so I will give them without any expectation, and be grateful that I can.

So where is the line between gift and investment?

It's a trick question. EVERYTHING we do is an investment; we just don't know where it's going, or what the payback will be. Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction or the biblical dictum "As you sow, so shall you reap", the principle is the same. The energy you put into the world will be magnified and reflected back to you; you just don't necessarily know how or when. That's why both "The Prayer of Jabez" and "The Luck Factor" say that one of the keys to gaining God's blessings / being lucky is to actively look for gifts/luck, because you can't predict when they'll show up or what form they'll take!

One personal example of these principles is this blog. The time and effort spent on it appears to have a pretty low payback. Total Donations: $0. Total Amazon Associate earnings: $6.37. Even by less monetary standards it would seem to be disappointing. The MEDIAN number of comments per post is ZERO. The majority of my posts, even some that I consider my very best work, draw neither cheers nor jeers. The most frequent referral page is Google image search results for "Bullitt mustang", which was a toss-in graphic in one of my posts.

A while back I had a choice to make. I could quit, which is what most bloggers eventually do. I could get serious about my blogging effort as an investment and retool the site with focused content and take the numerous suggestions available online and get those metrics moving in the right direction. Or I could treat Spooky Action as a gift to you.

And my heart told me that's the right thing to do. And when I look for reflection of my gift, I do find it. One of the great thing about having a low-traffic blog is that I can look at each individual visit to this blog in only a few minutes. Every day a couple of people hit the site because they searched for How to Make an Important Decision" (or some variant). And there on the first page is my best advice on the topic. If any of those readers use that information to make a better decision, they've made my world a better place!

One of the secrets of customer delight is that delight is highly correlated with surprise. People with abundance mentalities - who believe in this model of universal reflection of gifts - are thus setting themselves up to be delighted again and again! Doesn't that sound like a good life investment strategy?

No, Liz, it doesn't matter if no one seems to notice. What does matter is that we notice.

posted by Mike at 7:20 AM 5 comments links to this post


A Bit of Friendly Advice

Here are a few words I was going to say to someone I care for, but before I do I thought I should internalize them myself:
You are a person who jealously guards your own council. This is both a wonderful strength and a terrible weakness. A strength because it can prevent you from being duped or cheated; from having your heart broken. A weakness because it can prevent you from accepting gifts of wisdom outside your own experience; from opening your heart to wonders you've never imagined. I offer you these words from my heart, without condition or expectation of what you will do with them:

No one has ever truly benefited from self-pity. It is a prison of one's own making that may provide the illusion of emotional relief, but which really shackles you more than you can imagine. (And because you take no council of others, no one can show you what harm it is doing).

No one has ever truly benefited from a scarcity mentality. Yes, you may gain from a sale while spreading the fear, but in the end the net effect is a geometric growth in fear, both external and internal. The former is dangerous; the latter a self-booked trip to Hell.

Where is Mary Poppins when you need a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down?

posted by Mike at 8:29 PM 7 comments links to this post


The Great News About Stem Cell Research the NYT Doesn't Want You To Hear

Instapundit points to an astonishing article by Michael Fumento entitled Code of Silence about new discoveries about non-embryonic stem cells:
"Scientifically, all embryonic stem cells tend to become cancerous; they require permanent, dangerous, immunosuppressive drugs because the body rejects them as foreign; and they are difficult to differentiate into the needed type of mature cells. Non-embryonic stem cells, however, do not become cancerous; they are far less likely to cause rejection (especially the youngest, including umbilical cord and amniotic/placenta); and they have been used therapeutically since the late 1950s (originally for leukemia) because they have the amazing ability to form the right type of mature cell merely upon being injected into a body that needs that type of cell.

As stem cell researcher Malcolm Alison of the University of London told a British newspaper, the amniotic cells "appear to be at least as malleable as embryonic stem cells but without all the ethical baggage."
[emphasis mine]

You should read the whole thing, because it's clear and well-written. My understanding has been that embryonic stem cells have two unique characteristics that makes researchers eager to use them despite the aforementioned drawbacks:
  1. They can be multiplied outside the body for a long time
  2. They can be 'differentiated' into all three 'germ layers', which means they have the potential to create all 220 types of cells in the human body
In the January issue of Nature Biotechnology, Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine published findings of a study showing that stem cells from amniotic fluid exhibit these same characteristics.
"Atala's new amniotic stem cells grow as fast outside the body as embryonic stem cells (doubling every 36 hours), and he's now been growing the same stem cell line for two years, with no indication of slowing.


As Atala told PBS's Online NewsHour, "We have been able to drive the cell to what we call all three germ layers, which basically means all three major classes of tissue available in the body, from with all cells come from."

The article has much more detail about this exciting work. I didn't know that non-embryonic stem cells "cure and treat more than 70 diseases and are involved in almost 1,300 human clinical trials", did you?

The article also expounds on efforts by the New York Times and Newsweek to suppress and distort this news. You can read about that, too, and be glad that many researchers are making great strides despite this type of tomfoolery.

posted by Mike at 8:19 AM 0 comments links to this post


Excellent Webinar Introduction to Organizational Change

Interested in an entertaining and informative look at the barriers to organizational innovation and how to overcome them? Then spend an hour watching Laurence Haughton's webinar "More Buy-In for New Ideas and Innovations: A strategy to overcome resistance to change and improve follow-through". You'll need to register for this on-demand recording of the 1/27/2007 live seminar, but it's painless and you'll be rewarded with an hour of insights and tactics you can put to use right away!

If you'd like a little preview of Haughton's style and material, check out the video at The Slacker Manager. Just don't get hypnotized by the initial background...

...and no, this is not a paid endorsement.

It's just a friendly recommendation of something I really enjoyed!

posted by Mike at 12:34 PM 0 comments links to this post


PED - The Game Designer's Model

Three people. Three games. One model of experience design.

Do you recognize these three gentlemen? On the left is James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball. In the center: Erno Rubik, designer of the eponymous cube. On the right is the less well known to most but more important to the post Marc LeBlanc, creator of the computer game Oasis (among others). I say more important because in addition to designing great games, Marc has also created a very useful model of game design itself.

Why is a model of game design important to experience designers? Because the game design paradigm is DESIGN ONCE, EXPERIENCE MANY TIMES. And thus, in order to design a popular game, the designer must:
  • understand the process of designing consistently reproducible experiences
  • understand the dimensions of experience
The first point is obviously useful, but the second one is also important because it gives us insight into how to make existing experiences even better!

Would you like to know more?

I am a nut for an aficionado of useful models, such as the simple/complicated/complex paradigm. When I first read Marc's MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research I was struck by the power of his seemingly simple model:

  • Mechanics: design-time characteristics
  • Dynamics: run-time characteristics
  • Aesthetics: player experience

The beauty of the model is that it illuminates some vitally important constraints and perspectives on experience design. In Marc's model the goal of a game is to create a user experience. That may seem trite, but too often designers focus on the features/behaviors of what they are providing instead of focusing on what the user is getting in their own mind. Marc also created a taxonomy of aesthetics (perceived value) that game players experience! (We'll come back to the taxonomy in a bit).

The chief constraint the model exposes is that the things a designer can control, the MECHANICS of the game, never directly influence the player, who only experiences the DYNAMIC BEHAVIOR of the game. Rubik's cube is a great example, because the game Mechanics are literally the mechanical construction of the cube and a goal of making each side of the cube one color only. Players have no idea how the cube is built, but through trial-and-error come to form theories of how it works.

Players interact with computer games in a similar way, but the dynamics are much more complex. Designers like Marc can incorporate AI code to make computer opponents appear to 'learn' a player's strategies and adapt to them. The game mechanics (the code) don't change, but the perceived behavior does.

This constraint forces good designers to begin by deciding what AESTHETICS they want players to experience, then designing DYNAMIC behaviors to evoke those aesthetics, and finally building game MECHANICS to produce the desired dynamics. The design process ends with the one thing the design can control!

Since game design starts with aesthetics, LeBlanc and company created a taxonomy of these aesthetics. You could also call them categories of fun, and there are more than one set. I like the simplicity and orthogonality of the LeBlanc set, but others may work better for general experience design (click the link for a deeper discussion). Here is Marc's list:
  1. Sensation - game as sense-pleasure
  2. Fantasy - game as make-believe
  3. Narrative - game as drama
  4. Challenge - game as obstacle course
  5. Fellowship - game as social framework
  6. Discovery - game as uncharted territory
  7. Expression - game as self-discovery
  8. Submission - game as mindless pastime
These aesthetics are meant to be a non-overlapping set, and Marc points out that various game experiences combine various aethetics (variously). Some examples:
Charades: Fellowship, Expression, Challenge
Quake: Challenge, Sensation, Competition, Fantasy
The Sims: Discovery, Fantasy, Expression, Narrative
Final Fantasy: Fantasy, Narrative, Expression, Discovery, Challenge, Submission

What would you say were the original aesthetics of Rubik's Cube?

Rubik was a professor of architecture, and originally created the cube to help his students understand 3-D spatial relationships, which falls into the Discovery category. That's nice, but hardly the makings of an international phenomenon. What happened?

Remember the first time you ever played with one? It was all nice and perfect, and you twisted it a few times and then twisted it back into perfection, but after a minute or two you got to a position where you couldn't exactly remember how to get back to the starting position. At which point you started to experiment with various combinations of moves to solve this puzzle - aha! Challenge! People started taking it further, and having competitions to see who could solve randomized cubes the fastest (Fellowship). The cube phenomenon died out in the 80's, but has come roaring back in a frightening form. I recently saw video of people having speed competitions blindfolded!! To me, this is Expression, because these cubers need to be able to memorize the cube and solve it in their head (while coordinating actual hand movements with their imaginary ones). Sounds like self-discovery to me (using your brain in ways you never knew you could!). I'll bet Rubik himself didn't anticipate that back in 1974!

What about Sensation, Fantasy, and Narrative? Can you think about ways to add these to the Rubik's cube experience? What if the cube emitted sounds based on the configuration of squares? Would people "play" the cube in concert (Sensation)? I'll bet you can think up examples for Fantasy and Narrative. Leave a comment with your idea!

Marc's original article walks through an example of taking one basic game design and adding aesthetics to tailor the game to different demographics, using different dynamics and mechanics. He also discusses the ways people have adapted the rules for Monopoly to make it more interesting.

The process of generalizing these game design concepts to experience design concepts becomes clearer when we examine a more traditional game, such as Dr. Naismith's basketball. The game was designed in little more than a day in 1891 as an alternative to gymnastics and other indoor winter sports for a group of older students.

Let's try LeBlanc's design framework out on this task, shall we? What aesthetics should we try to evoke? It IS gym class, so we should undoubtedly include sensation in the form of exercise. We also want the game to provide some form of challenge so that people don't bore with it too quickly. Because there's a bunch of people in the class, we should try to include fellowship to prevent chaos. And let's see if we can include an element of narrative to keep people's interest throughout the class. [I'm guessing this isn't exactly how Naismith went about things, but let's see how it works out.]

At a high level, and remembering that it's Springfield Massachusetts in 1891, what dynamics can we design to fit the aesthetics?

Sensation is pretty easy; make it a physical game. Fellowship; make it a team game. Challenge; make it a game involving motor skills different from other games (the team dynamic also provides challenge). Narrative; give the game length such that the outcome remains in doubt over a series of interactions.

Now that we've got our dynamics, what about mechanics? What were the mechanics of the original game?
  1. gymnasium
  2. soccer ball
  3. clock
  4. 2 elevated peach baskets
  5. 18 players
  6. 1 referee
  7. 13 rules

Of these, only the concept of scoring by throwing a ball into an elevated cylindrical goal remains intact. But the basic aesthetics, and others, remain vibrant in the modern game of basketball.

In the next post we will look at how to generalize and enrich experience design beyond the game design model, but a thorough understanding of the M-D-A model and the taxonomy of aesthetics equips you to make immediate improvements to nearly any process.

Basketball as Expression

Part 3 of the Principles of Experience Design series:
  1. Introduction
  2. Anatomy of a Joke

Don't miss a single part of the series; Subscribe to Spooky Action today!

posted by Mike at 5:11 PM 4 comments links to this post


Wrath of the Football Gods - What'd I Tell You?

"So Vince, how did your predictions for the rest of the season turn out?"

"I don't like to brag, but most people wouldn't have had the nerve to say what I said back in October: 'Despite the fact that they've got a roster full of rookies, a whole new blocking scheme, a whole new coaching staff, and one healthy experienced wide receiver, they've been competitive in all of the games but one. The blocking is getting better each week, the defense is starting to gel, and the kids on the roster are stepping up. I've got them penciled in to finish the season 9-7, but out of the playoffs due to those early losses. I orginally thought they'd end up 8-8, but after watching that Monday Night Bears-Cardinals game, I'm convinced that the Packers will beat the Bears at Soldier Field the last week of the season. On the strength of that performance (and the lack of dominant NFC teams), I see Favre returning next year to lead the Pack back to the promised land in 2007!' "

"That's some pretty bold prognosticating!"

"I know my football, Curly. I missed on the 9-7; they had to lose one extra game to avoid the playoffs this year when all the other contenders swooned. But the Giants came through to preserve the curse. You gotta admit that their 26-7 mauling of the Bears on New Years Eve was sweet!"

"You know that had to gall Papa Bear!"

"Don't get all full of yourselves, gentlemen! Who went to the Super Bowl, huh?"

"I've got news for you, George. I hope Lovie and the boys enjoyed their trip to Miami, because they won't be going to Glendale next year. In fact, they won't even win the NFC North next year. Brett Favre decided to come back because he could see that the Pack has a good chance of going to the playoffs next year, and he's right. If Harlan retires, the Packers will return to the playoffs!"

"So remember Packer fans. You heard it here first: the 2007 Green Bay Packers - NFC North Champions!"

posted by Mike at 6:15 AM 0 comments links to this post