• joshwilsher

Day 3 - Evidence Based Design

EBD is a method that focuses on credible research and well...evidence from areas such as field exploration to make design decision. EBD does not rely on intuition or basic anecdotal information.

What I Learned:

While included in a book that has many UX design methods, EBD is mostly used by architects and interior designers. The application of EBD is employed mainly in hospital/healthcare layout design but can extended to "...schools, prisons, commercial and industrial buildings, and spaces." I found this interesting as EBD seems to be based in physical experiences and use research techniques that put the researcher in the setting, around the people they need to speak with.

Honestly, all design physical or digital should be "evidence" based design so that there is data to backup design choices. That said, I think EBD comes into architecture and interior design the most is because they are designing a large experience for multiple participants. I guess EBD could also be applied to a place like a theme park.

Case Study - IKEA:

After reading the chapter, I sat thinking about how I could apply. With it being a large process that can span all phases, I began thinking through places that provides specific experiences and into my head popped IKEA. I thought of IKEA because if you've ever been to one, you know it is a labyrinth of furniture but we all know its been designed that way.

A regular store sets up displays and other areas to entice shoppers and to encourage them to stay and buy more. If you look at the floor-plan of IKEA, its designed to guide (or nudge) customers through the store to where they will be more inclined to buy something on their journey through the store.

In searching more about the origins of the floor plan, I came across a BBC article that touched on not only the floor-plan and its experience but also the furniture of IKEA. The article explains that the floor plan is designed in a way so that the "design means you often can’t see what is coming next and fear you’ll miss something you need if you don’t continue all the way along the path." This was really interesting to learn as it is apparent that a customer is guided through the store (with little to no wayfinding for shortcuts) but to create a layout that preys upon the human emotion of "FOMO" (fear of missing out), it inclines customers to browse every inch of the store.

Another interesting point the article makes is that "Because you know it may be tricky to revisit a particular item later on, you are inclined to pick it up when you see it". Like the FOMO design of the store, the long and winding road of IKEA creates an inconvenience for customers. Rather than customers thinking about how they have to travel all the way back to the chairs, the store essentially influences their choice and says "pick it up and decided when you get to the checkout", and we know when the customer gets there, they will buy it.

There are many other method that I could go over about the influence that IKEA stores have over their customers but I'll keep this short and recommend reading the BBC article so that I'm not just repeating everything.

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