Reading Response #1: January 26, Enjoying Experience

The “Making Sense of Experience” article paraphrases philosopher Bakhtin, saying, “experience… is incurably social, plural, and perspectival.” They discuss how this applies to loyalty on the internet to specific sites. Bakhtin somewhat addresses this as ‘perspectival’, and it might fit underneath the spatio-temporal thread, but more emphasis should also be placed on what I will call ‘comparative’. One might define personality as a collection of accrued experiences and thoughts. With a personal database of experience, better known as memories, a person will decide what to pursue based off of those previous experiences. In other words, each new experience is compared to previous ones. What is different? What is new? What is interesting? What is familiar? Did I like it or not last time? This aspect is rather obvious when creating new products; a user always brings their previous emotions to a new experience in accordance with a similar experience. Thus, while the article did mention this in its Appropriation section, it should have taken this more into account when discussing philosophy about experiences. For example, if I like using Facebook, starting to use Twitter would be related to enjoying Facebook, and then I investigate if Twitter has a novel functionality. If so, I might find it worth my time; if not, I would stick to Facebook. Thus, I am inherently comparing Twitter to Facebook in my experience of the two sites.


In “The Engineering of Experience” article, I greatly appreciate how the author talks in the concrete. If we look at the reading of articles as a human experience, one of the most exhausting and annoying ways to present information is to discuss the abstract… and then remain in the abstract. People like to sense what you are talking about; I want to be able to easily imagine and picture what you are discussing. Further, when I interface with someone’s writing, I want to be able to understand it without having to re-read it. I found the experience of reading this article much more pleasurable compared to the other because it was presented more concretely (with examples) and logically (with intuitive structure and descriptive headings). Most do not actually want to wade through ambiguous terms and convoluted sentences. I like how the author presents the user experience as a conversation, since the article itself comes across conversational as well. The author took the time to consider the user of his article.



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