In 2017 I finished writing a book on what in my view leads to truly connected experiences. The customer, user, citizen, client, guest and all the other types of audiences we target, what do they experience? We hope it’s something that clicks, is connected and makes sense every step of the way.
Why an Experience Thinking Book?
Since 2007, I’ve been thinking and developing a set of processes and an overarching framework to place what seems to me too often a disconnected set of activities, teams, organisational structures and internal stakeholder groups. I’m talking about the how to get from what is the organisational foundation: people, processes, technology and business models / mandates all the way to what we, the audience ultimately experiences: the journeys and end to end experience life cycle of what we experience.
What happens in between seems disjointed and not helping in making this leap from who, what, how we are internally to who, what and how we are externally. Its that combination of Brand, Content, Product and Service experiences that we create for our audiences that need, should connect better. Both in the research and design phase as in the resulting experiences we create for our audience.
I thought of it as Experience Thinking. And ever since, the company I founded has used Experience Thinking to describe our design process and describe on the website the framework that design process was embedded in. With not a whole lot of deep explanation, but with enough to have a conversation about being audience centric and use those good techniques to keep the customer and user involved in the research and design phases of a product or service. That served our purpose as an experience research and design company for many years. But at some point, the XT framework called for a deeper and more complete story, so the book.
Design Thinking, Strategic Business Thinking, Experience Thinking
When you see this term Experience Thinking now and you’re from a customer or user experience background you’d immediately connect this as a play on Design Thinking. I would too. But it was not where this came from. I’ve always seen more of a disconnect between the business minds and the rest of an organisation. A disconnect of the people that need to make the first translation from high level business objectives to something more conc
rete. The people that have the job to define and defend the purpose of the organization and then must explain the ‘now what’ of it all. At that level I felt there was some critical strategic thinking, business thinking that always left out their audience experience out of the conversation. Not because they couldn’t think about their audience, but mostly because there was no structure, framework to get from A to B, from high level objectives to concrete product and service experiences that their audience expects, wants, needs.
This book is about that plan, that guide for people at all levels that need an approach to translate the objectives into a set of activities that helps get you from A to B. It is not a ‘how-to’ book, purposely left out how certain tools and techniques work. There are many books about that already. The idea is that this book helps people that need to know what should be done from an experience design perspective how to structure a process from objective to reality. Provide ideas, a format to think in and ask more specialized team members if we need to do this in this case, how it works and build together a targeted approach that works best for the creation of that end to end experience.
It’s a bit of a balancing act. On the one end it talks about things high level, on the other it throws many aspects of experience design together in a structure that may seem overwhelming at first. But, as I join the group of writers that find it hard to stop somewhere, this is it.
The Experience Thinking Framework in a nutshell
The Experience Thinking (XT) framework is founded on Human Centered Design (HCD) principles and practises. Building on the notion that an Experience itself is of customer & user value.
Creating that experience means we shape the current organisational structure to excel at delivering experiences. At the People level, the Business level, Process and Technology levels.
Once the foundation is there, each experience is designed from four distinct angles: Brand Experience, Content Experience, Product Experience and Service Experience. Each of these angles, or quadrants, has its own strategy, research and design process to arrive at the intended experience.
Depending on the project, you would have more or less activities in each of these quadrants.
Lastly, these types of experiences are now connected to deliver an end to end Experience Lifecycle to each of your audience(s). Researching and capturing journey maps to help guide where your experience can shine brighter and new opportunities should be explored.
The book had a limited release in 2017 but if you’d like to know more about it, let me know.
Tedde infuses Akendi, its services and methodology with his strong belief that customer and user experience design must go beyond a singular product interface, service or content. It should become deeply rooted in an organization’s research and design processes, culture,and ultimately be reflected in their products and services.
A graduate of Radboud University, the Netherlands in Cognitive Ergonomics, Tedde has more than two decades of experience in experience research, usability testing and experience design in both public and private sectors.
Prior to founding Akendi, Tedde was a founding partner of Maskery & Associates. He has worked for companies including Nortel Networks, KPMG Management Consulting and Philips Design.