Dec 22, 2021 • 7M

Resource Review: Designing Experiences

A comprehensive guide with insights that can help anyone enhance the value of meetings, workshops, and conferences.

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Jeffrey Cufaude
Let me help you Facilitate Better. Each episode helps expand your competence and confidence to design and facilitate better meetings or workshops as we explore key facilitation principles, practices, tools, techniques, and resources.
Episode details

Reading time: approximately three minutes

“An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event” (Pine II and Gilmore, The Experience Economy).

Consumer research consistently confirms that many people increasingly value experiences over individual products. While now a widely accepted principle, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore popularized it more than a decade ago—first in a Harvard Business Review article—and then in their book entitled The Experience Economy.

They succinctly summarized how value to the end user (and the investment they will make to receive it) can evolve from commodities to experiences:

  • Commodities (cake from scratch)

  • Goods (cake mix)

  • Services (cake from bakery)

  • Experiences (birthday party at restaurant)

We live in a world where a great deal of content has been commoditized and is often undervalued. So how might individuals and organizations design experiences—in particular, workshops, conferences, and virtual offerings—that deliver more value to learners and participants? How might organizational leaders design meetings and retreats to be more meaningful and accelerate better discussions, decisions, and results?

For advice on doing so, I often draw ideas and insights from Designing Experiences by J. Robert Rossman and Mathew D. Duerden (2019). The book is a concise and comprehensive “how to” guide on experience design and value creation, one whose principles and practices can be adapted and applied to the design of almost any experience.

Touchpoint Template from Designing Experiences

In my 7-minute audio and video review, I highlight:

  • a bit more about what is meant by experience design and why it matters

  • an overview of the content and key concepts from Designing Experiences

The video format of this review contains slides with a few key quotes ansd other highlights references in the audio file at the top of this post. Here is an eight-page PDF with the key quotes/notes I made from my own read of Designing Experiences.

Designing Experiences Notes
180KB ∙ PDF file

You can find lengthy highlights from the authors themselves here. For two additional perspectives on the book and its value, I concur with the opinions expressed in this short review and highlights, as well as this brief summary and critique from strategy + business.

Bottom line?

Already well-versed in experience design, journey and user maps, and design thinking overall? This book probably builds on/complements what you already know, adding a few interesting ideas, tools, and perspectives. For everyone else, it likely can serve as both a good gateway/introduction to designing more valuable experiences and an excellent resource publication for future reference.

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