This is part one of an eight-part design for communication series. This series is adapted from a master’s paper on the intersection of design and technology-mediated communication.
How do we design virtual experiences that help people feel close and connect on a deeper level?
That’s a question that has riddled designers across the board. But what does that mean? Let’s start with technology-mediated communication (TMC). TMC involves the wide range of technologies that aid both human communication and the sharing of information through computer networks. So, where does design come in? User experience (UX) design is the “process of enhancing user satisfaction … by improving the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the product.” (Sciandra, 2017) By better understanding how people use technology to communicate we will be more equipped to create experiences that facilitate communication.
However, before we can tackle the big question, we must first understand that design itself is an act of communication. Design is a conversation between the user and the platform to help achieve the user’s end-goals. Designers who can leverage the communication between platform and user will be better equipped to create experiences that help people develop deep connections. We can even go a step further and work with the users to develop that conversation between platform and user. We’ll go more in-depth on how this works in later parts.
Being able to direct the conversation is only half the battle. When creating experiences you need to be aware of future trends that could affect how well your conversation works. Many of these trends spurred by increased mobility and the adoption of emerging technology. The world of communication is changing as more people adopt smartphones, and technologies such as augmented reality and the internet of things change the way we interact with both each other and our devices.
Stay tuned for part two: design is an act of communication!