A framework for understanding and working with design
Focus on designing understandable and pleasing presentation.
Works with for example: style and mood. How to lay out and deliver the message. Tone of voice.
Focus on designing optimal functionality and information.
Works with for example: cognitive and mechanical load. Controls and feedback.
Focus on creating feasible and efficient processes.
Works with for example: processes of organization or IT. Roles. Guidelines. Information structures.
Focus on finding the right problem to solve and suitable way to solve it.
Works with for example: value and growth hypothesis. Focus, definition and scope.
Layers are an attempt to outline things you can design that influence to user's experience.
These are not design traditions. Competences and skills overlap. Designer's decisions affect on more than one layer.
For example presentation layer is not just about graphics. Presentation is also sounds, surfaces, materials and words. Even as graphical designers or copywriters feel more at home solving problems on presentation layer their skills and thinking can be valuable on other layers.
Ever feel that when designing a complex product it is hard to communicate where the design effort goes?
Layers are created to help communicating that.
Layers are generic, so they should apply to complex technology products as well as services or spaces. Anything that involves user participating by doing something.