August 2021 #CX Briefing

John Maeda
3 min readAug 20, 2021
SXSW PanelPicker ends soon:

Four Things That I’m Thinking About Computational Experiences

  1. The functional aspects of an experience are covered by considering speed (lightness) and ease-of-use (accessibility). The next level above is driven by values (ethics) and how instrumentation (i.e. being “dataful”) lets you serve the user best.
  2. This “L.E.A.D.” approach is a good enough approximation for the salient aspects of “design” that need to get addressed for an effective computational experience. You can also say that “good enough” is arbitrary and based upon “who’s definition of ‘good’?”
  3. The aesthetic aspects of an experience address the tippy top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and thus they often get marginalized and/or deemed as unnecessary. But as a RISD alum once warned me, “Decoration is a kind of function” — they’re essential.
  4. When considering L.E.A.D. it’s struck me in the past how the “E” may more be appropriately read as “Emotional” instead of just “Ethical.” That’s because it is often impossible to separate ethics from emotions. Our emotions express how we care. Literally.

Three Things I’ve Noticed In The Last 30 Days

  1. There are two definitions of resilience surfacing today. “Protective” resilience is about shielding an organization from something bad. Whereas “proactive” resilience implies being ready for anything bad that could happen. Both are good. The latter lets you compete globally.
  2. Achieving protective and/or proactive resilience comes with a financial cost. As a result, an organization’s central tendency towards efficiency will naturally prevent it from investing in resilience efforts. Plus most B-schools train bosses to be more efficient. Problem. Huh?
  3. The state of brittleness in our world is an outcome of an efficiency mindset that has long been prevalent. That’s because efficiency has been a competitive advantage. Competing is now about resilience more than efficiency, and that will be a tough transition to accept.

Two Unsolicited Non-Tech Products That I ❤

  1. The Hide & Drink leather book strap is a great way to carry a stack of books from point to point on a day of…
John Maeda

John Maeda: Technologist and product experience leader that bridges business, engineering, design via working inclusively. Currently VP Design and A.I. at MSFT.