HXD stands for Human Experience Design. It is a framework for looking at urban planning, design and development from the lens of the human end-user and is rooted in the principles of user experience research and design thinking. It is a framework that determines the successes and failures of spaces so that we can design them to better meet or appeal to user needs, in the same vein that ergonomic design or retail displays support better human interaction and desirability.
Cities are experiential. Spaces and places are not, in practice, judged by their functionality or use alone. People remember great experiences and well-designed spaces and actively seek them out. The rise of street festivals, food trucks, all-night art shows and pop-up stores speaks to this desire for the experiential. We are living in a time where people who have great experiences can immediately share them – and that prompts others to want the same thing.
Great experiences drive desirability and ultimately more business. A well-planned and -designed space that facilitates a vibrant community life attracts more people, and positive experiences keep people coming back. The key to creating this type of space is having good data about how people are experiencing urban spaces; co-creating those spaces with designers and end users produces adaptable spaces that provide a “stage” for the lives of their communities.
How does it work?
HXD has been built from the ground up as a process that creates desirable urban experiences. Our research and data collection methods begin with the selection of a set of Human Experience Indicators that track quantitative measures of different facets of the user experience appropriate to a project. This is augmented with user stories – real tales that people share about their personal experience, that fills in the gaps where the numbers leave off. These qualitative and quantitative measures are analyzed over a period of time to develop an Experience Design Master Plan – a planning and design strategy for your project, built from the bottom up.
An Experience Design Master Plan forms the foundation of the design of the space, which we build based on the measures collected from the people who will use it. We also check in with the future users at key intervals throughout the design process to ensure that the end product is in keeping with their needs and expectations; once the space is completed, we use a monitoring plan to continue to measure its actual performance. This usage data is essential in designing future improvements to the space.
How can I find out more?
Please contact us for more information. We would be happy to chat with you about how you can apply HXD to your project.
- Insights Into An Ideal Main Street (2016)
- Human experience design for Toronto bus stops (2016)
- Making the Honest Ed’s Alley Micro-Retail Incubator come to life (2015-2016)