TOTAL EXPERIENCE explores designing for experience: its theory, its practice, and how designing for experiences affects us socially and in our personal lives.


  • Bob Jacobson
  • Paula Thornton
  • BOB JACOBSON is fascinated by the experience of experience. A planner and technologist, Bob has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning & Design from UCLA. He's been a policy researcher, technology CEO, science writer, and consultant. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied cellular telephony's impacts on transborder communities in the Nordic Arctic Circle. Bob edited Information Design (MIT Press 2000) and is now writing a book on the theory and practice of creating edifying, transformative experiences.
    ( Archive | Contact Bob )
    CORANTE PAULA THORNTON says, "Understanding human behavior (economics), optimizing interactions (design) and facilitating conversations (markets), are the means to achieve strategic differentiation. This is the focus of our discipline. It is not a 'nice to have'‚ and is not, like documentation once was, an afterthought. It is the means by which to start a strategic discussion and the means by which to drive a tactical initiative. All design should be evidence-based."
    ( Archive | Contact Paula ) >

    (Courtesy of Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia SpA, Torino)

    Experience Design Websites
    Core 77 Website & Forum
    Business Week|Innovate
    InfoD: Understsanding by Design
    The Wayfinding Place
    Wayfinding Focus
    Design Addict
    L-ARCH (Landscape Architecture Mailing List)
    DUX 2007 Conference
    Digital Thread
    Enmeshed, Digital Arts & New Media
    Ludology (Game Playing Theory)
    Captology, Persuasive Computing
    Space and Culture
    Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces
    timet (acoustical design)
    Steve Portigal, Ethnographer
    Jane McGonigal's Avant Game
    Ted Wells' living : simple
    PingMag (Japan)

    Experience Design Blogs
    Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
    Experience Designer Network (Brian Alger)
    SmartSpace: Annotated Environments (Scott Smith)
    Don Norman
    Doors of Perception (John Thackara)
    Karl Long's Experience Curve
    Work•Play•Experience (Adam Lawrence)
    The David Report (David Carlson)
    Design & Emotion (Marco van Hout)
    Museum 2.0 (Nina Simon)
    B J Fogg
    Lorenzo Brusci (acoustics)
    Cool Town Studios
    Steve Portigal
    Debbie Millman
    MIT Culture Convergence Consortium
    Luke Wroblewski, Functioning Form|Interface Design
    Adam Richardson
    Putting People First (Paul Vanderbeeken/Experientia
    Laws of Simplicity (John Maeda)
    Challis Hodge's UX Blog
    Anne Galloways's Purse Lips Square Jaw
    Bruno Giussani's Lunch over IP
    Jane McGonigal's Avant-Game The Future of Work

    Experience Design Podcasts
    Ted Wells' living : simple Podcast
    Design Matters Podcast, Debbie Millman
    Icon-o-Cast Podcast, Lunar Design

    Experience Design Firms and ED-Oriented Manufacturers
    Barry Howard Limited
    Hilary Cottam
    LRA Worldwide, Inc.
    BRC Imagination Arts
    Stone Mantel
    Experientia s.r.l
    Herman Miller
    Cooper Interactive Design
    Doblin Group
    Fit Associates
    Strategic Horizons LLC (Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore)
    Cheskin Fresh Perspectives

    Education and Advocacy
    Centre for Design Research, Northumbria University (UK)
    Center for Design Research, Stanford University
    International Institute of Information Design (IIID)
    Design Management Institute
    Interaction Institute IVREA
    Design Research Institute (UK)
    UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research
    History of Consciousness, UCSC
    Design News Magazine
    Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
    Design Museum London
    Center for Sustainable Design
    Horizon Zero, Digital Arts+Culture in Canada
    Design Council UK
    First Monday

    Total Experience on Technorati
    Technorati Profile

    Get Camino!
    In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

    Total Experience

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    March 28, 2008

    Getting Twitterpated

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    Posted by Paula Thornton

    Paying homage to my colleague, Bob, by posting a reference I made to him and his thoughts on Twitter today. And by doing so, illustrate the effect this 2.0 element of 'social networking' is having to change our daily experiences. [Read bottom-up]


    For those less familiar with Twitter, it was originally designed for people to announce a 'current state'. Indeed the single entry field interface prompts "What are you doing?". It was also uniquely designed to capitalize on mobile text messaging. Thus, a single entry string cannot be longer than 140 characters even if using the full-screen desktop interface. Many 'inline' interfaces have been created so individuals can watch what colleagues/friends around the world are doing/thinking throughout the day.

    It's a phenomenon of communicating with critical 'peeps' ("I'll have my people call your people") via 'tweets'. It gained necessary critical mass by adoption at the annual phenomenon-unto-itself, South by Southwest (SXSW) in 2007 -- the Woodstock of techno-dweebs -- where it became the mechanism for a networked conversation. Where, this year it was leveraged as the means to report on a reporter.

    For anyone you 'follow', their tweets are like an instant RSS feed into a reader (I've got one on my iGoogle desktop -- way more fun than the fullscreen version). For those of us easily distracted, we have to intentionally stay away from getting caught up in the activity (heaven forbid if I got these on my phone). Even when slammed for time, eventually I catch up and comment back on things shared by others. It's my own personal idea orgy.

    Catching up is particularly hard to do when several people are at a conference. During SXSW the history queue goes to overflow quickly (you 'miss' notes as they roll off -- my queue is about 200 messages).

    For those who prefer to manage who sees what they say, there's an option to approve followers.

    The power of social networking channels like Twitter is being leveraged by those 'in the know' as a source of data (ala. research channel). Barack Obama's campaign is following over 18K voices. Shortly after casually mentioning a very specific product in a tweet, I was suddenly being followed by a cow. So how much can you tell about potential consumers based on their conversations?

    Two critical voices (there are many) are David Armano (@armano) and Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang). The @name format directs a message to an individual. @name puts your message in their queue (if they're following you) or puts it in a direct message folder (if they're not). @name messages can also be set up to be the only messages routed to your mobile device, and can be set on/off follower, by follower

    David Armano suggests that Twitter has gained momentum because of the 2.0 elements which have been created all around it to offer a total Conversation Ecosystem. I maintain a collection of interesting elements of this ecosystem on I picked up most of these from 'tweets' from my 'peeps'.

    Writing about Twitter on Twitter is a phenomenon as well. But today there seems to be Twitterblogathon. Here I'm writing about it...Jeremiah Owyang suggests how to leverage Twitter as your own personal "social advisor" in real time, and an @armano peep drew attention to "Observations of a Twitter Newbie" by @marobella.

    Pick a channel, any channel. Leveraged as a location device, as a mini-blog, as a 'man on the street' reporting device, paying due homage to Mr. Weinberger, et. al, it's still all about conversations.

    And yes, there have been plenty of conversations around, "You know you're a twitterholic when...".

    Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


    1. Rodney Rumford on March 28, 2008 11:35 PM writes...

    Great post. I completely agree. nice insights as to why twitter matters. This micro-touch world we live in is fast becoming normal in the early adopter circles. We are seeing a new form of conversation & communication emerge.

    i sometimes explain the publishing aspect as mass text messaging. ;)

    Rodney Rumford

    you can twitter me at

    Permalink to Comment

    2. Paula Thornton on March 29, 2008 9:37 AM writes...

    Let me reciprocate, great observations. "Mass text messaging"...good foundational thought. I think there's more...haven't uncovered it yet.

    Great to be associated with the 'early adopters'.

    Glad to add your thoughts to mine. Power to the synthesis.

    The fatal flaw of the Borg was that it relied on control.

    Permalink to Comment


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