Many years back we became friends with an influential fellow by the name of Joe Pine. He had written a book on the customer experience, The Experience Economy (April, 1999).
His work had a profound influence on our design business.
We found something profound in the idea that we could design experiences. It wasn’t really new to the world, just new to commonly understood business practices. From the start of our business, this approach became a way of thinking for us. It was ingrained in our conversations on the design of anything, we considered the design of an experience to be the highest order. Because it wasn’t just the design of one artifact, but the design of everything from artifacts to human behaviors.
This led to conversations on design with many clients and prospective clients over the years. It also led to a significant amount of work where the design principles of experience design were applied. And, within this, the design of moments infinitum.
Here’s one you might enjoy from a couple years past.
Designed Moment: Caribou Coffee.
How do you like your coffee handed to you? One hand or two?
Think about the gesture when a barista hands you a coffee with one hand. Sometimes it’s gentle, other times it’s just thrown up there and then on to the next cup. What happens when you ask someone to use two hands to put your coffee on the serving counter? The gesture is more deliberate, more coveted and more of a designed moment for the customer.
This was one of the moments we helped design with Experience Engineering back when we worked with Caribou Coffee. There were hundreds of other moments, but this one just felt like the right way to start this conversation. Small moment, yes, but important to convey the quality of what the artist (barista) has created for you, the customer.
Coffee delivered any other way is just a cup of coffee. Coffee delivered from a Caribou barista is a more thoughtful experience. We like to think we had some influence in that designed experience.
Thank you, Caribou, for such a great working relationship.
Update! Joe Pine is hosting an Experience Economy workshop on December 6, 2012 in Minneapolis. Click here for more information.