5 reading ideas from design, e-commerce, and amusement | August 2015

Thrill & Create Newsletter

August 2015

The second half of August is traditionally a fun season for me as the owner of a design business in the amusement industry. While I have been working hard this year to bring value to my clients and potential clients, there is more flexibility in this time of year. This is when I get to make time to visit and support my local amusement parks on weekdays, when their attendance tends to be lighter and I can get a lot of rides in on my favorite rides.

The end of the summer is a great time to be at the park. As I write this, a project with a new client is about to become official. That’s worth celebrating with some rides!

So you might see some days in our consultation schedule go dark between now and Labor Day. When I take a day off during the week, I typically can make at least some time available on a Saturday for discussing new projects.

Now, on to the reading list.

5 great new reads in UX and amusement

1. The Principles of UX Choreography

Rebecca Ussai, Medium

Rebecca Ussai initially wanted to design title sequences for movies. Several moves later, she now works as a senior user experience (UX) designer with RGA. And she’s doing great work there by applying principles of motion design to create fluid, delightful, and intuitive experiences.

The 5 principles of UX choreography that Rebecca describes here come from Walt Disney’s 12 Principles of Animation. She writes, “UX Choreography is a combination of the how with the when and why — the proper techniques of applying motion and captivating an audience combined with the more integral moments in user experience where you can start engaging your user in a two-way dialogue.”

Learn about feedforward and 4 other principles

2. Dollywood announces Lightning Rod

Dolly Parton Entertainment

As a roller coaster enthusiast, I follow amusement-related blogs all year round. That’s even more true in August, which is the peak of announcement season!

Several years ago, Dollywood announced that they were investing $300 million in improvements to their park over the next several years. As I watched their live announcement last week, they commented that $300 million is going fast. And with the DreamMore Resort and next year’s addition, they have been making tremendous improvements. Roller coaster enthusiasts have discussed the possibility of launched wooden roller coasters for years. Thanks to Rocky Mountain Construction, Dollywood will get to debut the world’s first launched wooden roller coaster next March. It will also have several overbanked turns and a quadruple-down drop.

Learn more about Lightning Rod from Dolly

3. New concepts from the Goddard Group: Polar Ocean World

The Goddard Group on Facebook

UX practitioners have frequently used well-themed theme parks as inspiration to teach themselves and others about great design. So it makes sense that several experience design companies would have an impressive track record in the amusement industry. Having created numerous large-scale attractions for several major park chains and designed many resorts, Goddard Group is one of the biggest names in entertainment design.

On August 3, Goddard Group announced the lands they had designed for Polar Ocean World, a new park scheduled to open in Shanghai.

I’ll be watching for further developments on Polar Ocean World. I can’t wait to learn more about how this new park will delight its guests beginning in 2018.

Page through some impressive screenshots

4. All Technology Is Assistive

Sara Hendren, Medium

When web professionals first learn about accessibility, it is often presented as something “they” need. “They”, meaning people with disabilities: people affected by blindness, color-blindness, autism, motor impairments, or any of a wide range of other conditions.

It leads to a misunderstanding. Users without disabilities and users with them get treated as two different groups of people: “us” versus “them”. And while there are enough of “them” to justify investing in assistive technology (20%), plus many government regulations which now at least start to level the playing field, too many digital product designers focus too much on “us”. This article turns “us” and “them” on its head. Did you know that any device you’re using to read this email is a piece of assistive technology? Your computer, tablet, smartphone, and eyeglasses all augment your normal sensory experiences to help you achieve your goals. This article provides some very interesting, less talked-about examples of industrial design which are helping people who have hearing loss, quadriplegia, and other conditions. It is a fantastic read.

Learn about technology for everyone

5. Provocation Can Lead to Emotional Design

John Caldwell, UX Magazine

John Caldwell decided years ago to start a new adventure in LA. He now works as a content strategist for TurboTax. He thinks that, in order to get a digital product’s design to really provoke users’ emotions, design teams need to do uncomfortable things and bring in people from quite different backgrounds.

In the past several years in particular, TurboTax has made completing tax forms feel a lot less like work. John reveals that one of the reasons why was that their team saw a parallel in video games. BioShock is based on tasks and chores, but many gamers enjoy it. So TurboTax’s team had a narrative video game writer provoke their design teams. What resulted was that the design team imagined taxpayers in a story of wanting to save money to take their families to Disney World. This article is an interesting read on how to use provocation well in a design project.

Shake up your digital strategy  

Should we meet at IAAPA?

The IAAPA Attractions Expo is possibly the most resourceful event for amusement industry professionals to attend. But it can be pretty overwhelming to attend without a plan. Last year, I benefited by starting to think about it months in advance. At one booth where I planned to stop by, I met someone who became my client a few months later.

So my planning for this year’s show is already underway. If you would be interested in meeting in person at the show to talk about a design project for your website, app, or other digital product, reply and let me know. Have a digital product that you plan to demo at the show? Have me take a look at it before the show. I’ll let you know some ways that you can increase sales and keep your audience engaged with your digital products.