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Week 11 | Exploring Curiosity and Confusion

This past week was a lot. We've making big strides towards a better product at Fluent. At least, I hope we are! We've taken our learnings and are starting to apply them to the new version of the product. Only more user observations will validate that we're making the right calls. But, these past 2 weeks have been spend identifying those steps, outlining what we're building, and we're now ready to execute. We have a lot of the high-level strategy done. The user journey is as clear as it's ever been. And, I'm really excited to put it to the test!

This has meant that my evenings have been mostly spent recovering, and now that Montreal is opening up a bit more, seeing people! I've also decided to take on 2 projects that have been taking up some brain-space outside of the 52 weeks.

The first project is a talk I'm going to give to a design group in 20 days from now. It's a small collective of designers who get together a few times a year to share their experiences and talk about topics and learnings they've picked up over the years. Being the resident developer/product person, I decided to give a talk about how being a developer has made me a better designer, and how being a designer has made me a better developer. We don't often talk about the importance of design in development, but it takes a lot of the same principles, it's just applied to different systems. And, I don't think we acknowledge that enough in our design & developer communities. We often look at each other's professions as a black box without realizing the similarities and I want to break down that barrier.

The second project is a book. I've stupidly decided I want to write a book. More specifically, a book on game design in product development. Having been using game design lenses to build this version of Fluent, it's made me realize the power of thinking this way. Game design is just another design specialization, and there are a lot of creative ways of thinking that solve common design problems. I want to bring that to life, and use writing a book as an excuse to understand the impact and importance even more myself. I don't have high expectations for it. If it changes 1 persons perspective on product, I've done my job. My goal is to write something for myself to better understand the overlap between the two disciplines.

Now, on to this weeks creation! I really like to ramble. I hope the editor I find for my book has an iron fist.

During our user observations, I started noticing a pattern between the build up to curiosity and confusion. I noticed how they often share the same beginnings, but it's the combination of the expectations going into the situation and the immediate path afterwards that determines whether or not they'll feel curious or confused. This framing has helped me understand how we can start trying ot frame experience while building Fluent and use these lenses to try and empathize with a user more deeply.

You can find the full mini-essay here: (https://alexcaza.com/personal/curiosity-vs-confusion)[/personal/curiosity-vs-confusion]