SX: Social essence and Mindful design

(Image credit: Fantasy Artist Josephine Wall, licensed for non-commercial use only.)

Note: The “Jane Fedizen” fantasy card above was crafted with the fabulous Fediverse Fantasy Card Maker provided by nash and with artwork from hexephre (read Sean Tilley’s article to learn more).

Look at the fantasy card above. What do we see, say, with designers glasses on? We see a beautiful graphic artwork. It has design, layout, color, images, icons, symbols, text, typography. Suppose we are not a designer but a gamer. Now we see something very differently, especially if you played games using these card systems. If you don’t value playing games at all, you might see just a ‘stupid useless card’.

But the card exists for a reason. It has function, depending on the context where it is used. And regardless whether you like games or not you can ponder the function and purpose of the card. And then you perceive it at yet other levels. You can see that there’s meaningful semantic content, reference to an abstract model i.e. a game design in this case, and that the card associates with emotions and other human traits. You might also observe that such cards may be very personalized, and that people paid dilligent attention to crafting them for one another. So then there’s a social system associated too.

Two very different perspectives of looking at an object:

  • The 1st perspective is more objective. Dealing with the ‘packaging’, its outer shell, the surface.
  • The 2nd perspective is more subjective. Here the true essence is conveyed. Here it goes to the heart.

(Note: There’s undoubtedly existing terminology here, that I don’t know about yet.)

Social essence

In the context of Social experience design (SX) this notion of ‘existential essence’ is very interesting to consider much more deeply and thoroughly. And that is what this thread is for. For the time being I only want to pose the assumption that:

:bulb: Focus on “Social essence” can be an power tool to design more valuable experiences.

And raise some additional questions to ask ourselves…

:thinking:  Aren’t we in modern society too focused on superficial things, preferring objective perspectives?

:thinking:  Isn’t our run-amok economic system of hypercapitalism reinforcing that, and actually thriving by it?

:thinking:  Aren’t corporate (anti) Social Media prime examples of how society is dragged into superficiality?

:thinking:  How then can we do better now on the Social Web where we focus on the essence of “Being social”?

Mindful design

For practical purposes I will consider that “Social essence” is a best-practice as a tool, and is contained in the toolbox of Mindful design. A term I hereby introduce as part of the SX framework.

Mindful design is simply designing more with the essence in mind.

(Note: I am just brainstorming and all terminology may change, esp. if there’s existing terms.)

(Note: I tooted about this, taking opportunity to pass a deserved barb to hypercapitalism along.)