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Designing for Flow (Kshitiz Anand)

October 25, 2013

Designing for Flow (Kshitiz Anand)

Flow, a mental state, first proposed by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi; is characterized by a distorted sense of time, a lack of self-consciousness, and complete engagement in the task at hand. Often measured as a function of the emotional outcome, Flow is a useful tool to understand User Experience.


October 25, 2013

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  1. Kshitiz Anand, UXINDIA13 Conference Presentation

  2. DESIGN FOR FLOW @kshitiz #uxindia13 Talk delivered at UX India

    Conference, October 25th, 2013
  3. Currently I head : INDIA STUDIO! Otherwise I have a

    few startup initiatives
  4. None
  5. Origin of this term?

  6. None
  7. Marcus Arelius in his writings 'the Meditations’, wrote a lot

    about the flow of thoughts and happiness and he concluded that "most things flow naturally" and in his opinion it was better to "Go with the Flow" than to try and change society.
  8. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Hungarian, Professor of psychology Today we are going

    to speak about
  9. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi How do you say his name?

  10. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Me-high Chick-sent-me-high

  11. FLOW The psychology of optimal experience

  12. FLOW The psychology of optimal experience His most famous work

    Was done to study happiness in people
  13. People who learn to control inner experience will be able

    to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy. - M Csikszentmihalyi, Flow, 1990
  14. Good UX à Happy people

  15. Design for people, emotions, behaviors. Do not design for technology

  16. But its easier said than done… So let us go

    a bit deeper into understanding this
  17. What actually goes on in the human mind, when we

    are looking at designing for happiness
  18. Going from this

  19. To this

  20. Look into a cognitive, psychological & behavioral understanding of what

    builds a good UX  
  21. Our mental and emotional states M Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow, 1997

  22. These states are controlled by CONSCIOUSNESS

  23. These states are controlled by CONSCIOUSNESS What is CONSCIOUSNESS ?

  24. CONSCIOUSNESS is a Phenomenological construct

  25. It is dependent on phenomena : Subjective experiences of the

  26. Order in the Consciousness à GOOD UX Disorder in the

    Consciousness à BAD UX
  27. MASTERY OVER CONSCIOUSNESS à HAPPINESS Mastery of the Consciousness à

  28. More than anything else, men and women seek happiness -

    Socrates, 2300 years ago
  29. Optimal experience depends upon ability to control what happens in

    the consciousness each moment
  30. How does Consciousness work? How is it controlled?

  31. CONSCIOUSNESS : Where pain and pleasure both reside

  32. Users actions are based on INSTINCT : What we feel

    is right, the inner voice
  33. Information theory helps in understanding what really happens in the

  34. What interests us, is how sensory data (what we experience

    through our senses) are collected processed, stored and used
  35. Consciousness is a place for ordered information à Responds to

    subjectively experienced reality
  36. The consciousness processes INFORMATION BITS

  37. COGNITIVE LOAD : Too much information to process à Leads

    to CHAOS
  38. CHAOS creates DISCONTENT: facilitated by chronic dissatisfaction and anxiety

  39. OVERCOMING the anxiety : RECLAIMING the experience

  40. But not everything we are presented with, is processed by

    the Consciousness
  41. The processing of information by the Consciousness is INTENTION

  42. Our INTENTIONs decide the ATTENTION spans and time we give

    to a task
  43. But there are limits of Consciousness : How much information

    bits can the human mind (central nervous system) process ?
  44. Shortest time it takes to discriminate between one set of

    information bit and other is about 1/18th of a second
  45. One can process upto 126 bits of information per second

    = 7560 bits per minute = Almost half a million per hour = 185 billion bits of information in a lifetime * * Assumption: Lifespan = 70years, and 16 hours or active waking time each days
  46. 185 billion bits of information in a lifetime !!!! Seems

    a lot, but it is not! To understand what the other person is saying, 40 bits of information are processed each second.
  47. Information is processed by the consciousness because we give it

  48. ATTENTION is Psychic energy, that decides what information bits need

    to be processed and tells the consciousness what to do
  49. The more you complicate the information, the more difficulty the

    consciousness has in processing it!
  50. COMPLEXITY is a result of differentiation and Integration in Information.

    Differentiation à Move towards uniqueness Integration à Union of old vs new, other ideas, preconceived impressions
  51. COMPLEXITY à Disorder in Consciousness We call it PSYCHIC ENTROPY

  52. Removing Psychic Entropy in Consciousness, is optimal experience and it

    leads to FLOW

  54. HOW ?

  55. None
  56. Takeaway #1 Think about the Consciousness when you design

  57. Takeaway #2 The goal is mastery of this consciousness through

    design decisions
  58. Takeaway #3 How can you control the users intentions? Design

    for it.
  59. Takeaway #4 Think on how much attention should be given

    to each task?
  60. Takeaway #5 Think about Information Bits that the consciousness is

  61. Takeaway #6 Reduce cognitive load to remove Chaos in consciousness

  62. Takeaway #7 Avoid Complexity and reduce Psychic entropy

  63. Takeaway #8 Overcome anxiety of the customer!

  64. Takeaway #9 Help them reclaim the experience

  65. Takeaway #10 Spread Happiness J

  66. THANK YOU! Go with the flow! Connect with me on