AGITATION & ELATION [IN THE USER EXPERIENCE]

User experience map

The aim of agitation & elation in the user experience is to raise the negative and positive experiences on the user journey and understand how they relate to each other and to the overall system. In this example I used the map to describe the overall experience of growing food in the city of Chicago. All data came from user interviews, in-context observations and secondary research.

As user-centered designers we are encouraged to understand and embrace the user point of view during the design process – research, analysis, synthesis and prototyping. However, most designers tend to give special consideration to negative experiences and forget to look and consider delight moments that can be leveraged through solutions. Teams can benefit from exchanging deeper understandings about the user’s frustrations and delights.

During the framing process designers tend to ignore positive experiences and give more emphasis to the negative. This might be because:
· positives might not be considered as ‘insightful’ as struggles, needs and fears.
· there is an inherent fear of messing with something that is already working
· designers are trained to solve problems. Thus, looking at positive experiences as potential opportunity spaces requires a different framing.

During research, project teams could be divided from the start to focus on one of the sides (positive and negative), and after analysis share results and build a common point of view.

“By approaching all human endeavors, including design, from the positive viewpoint of creating a product or service that is exceptional, virtuous, and life-giving, rather than merely a solution to a need or problem, we are more likely to produce something… that enhances the quality of life and not just solves the problem.” (Bate, P. and Robert, G. – Bringing user experience to healthcare improvement)