Philosophy.

Or, the ideas behind how and why I create experiences.

People are wonderful. I work to help them envision the best versions of themselves and the world around them.

An experience begins when someone identifies a problem they want to solve, and ends when they've decided their goal has been achieved.

The things we make to help them solve their problems are bookended by a reality that has nothing to do with us. That problem could be “I want to learn more about the fig tree in my yard” or“people aren't choosing the insurance plan we thought they might … why is that?”

A product's experience extends far beyond the boundaries of directly working on the problem: what people hear about the tone of your product before they ever realize they need it, their mindset when they Google for solutions, how they feel as they dial in to support.

All of these things are experience, and contribute to our ability to create something powerful for people. Experience is the whole story … and how the user perceives the experience is their reality.

Key principles

Knowing people precedes making any assumptions about them. If you neither know, nor empathize, it's not design.

Hospitality, but further: omotenashi.

Welcome people warmly but professionally. Respect their time and intelligence. Proactively seek ways to anticipate what they need, and deliver. Omotenashi is beyond the hospitality we've come to expect, hospitality of the highest order: An intent and action on the part of the host, proactively taking every measure to deliver the best experience to the people they serve.

Authenticity

Of materials, of emotion, of intent. No varnish, no puffy language, no hiding, treating people with the same egality and respect you'd expect.

Delight? Surprise? No. Anticipate and be helpful.

Often, a focus on delighting users is a hollow substitute for providing something of substance to users: more often than not, they're looking to solve a problem, not be surprised by a pleasant animation.

Next, let’s learn how this Philosophy is applied, in Ben's design Process »