experience really is design

As a writer, every once awhile I come across a terrific article or story and think, “I should have written that.” Last week Om Malik penned a post that I wish I had written.  Entitled, “Square, Airbnb and why experience really is design,” the piece makes a convincing case for how the cosmetic aspects of design are less important than the experiential – and that the details of an experience are what form a bond between brand and customer.Square-Payment (1)

The following are some of the points that resonated most with me (emphases mine), but I encourage you to read the entire post:

  • These days, when there is talk of design, most people focus on what they can see: the pretty websites, well designed gadgets and brilliantly colored packaging. And while those are important, what matters most to the customers is the whole experience. That experience is essentially a story, a narrative which ultimately enjoins us to a brand.
  • Microsoft did a good job of copying Apple stores, but it still lacks that seamless story, one that creates an experience like Apple. And the reason is not that Microsoft is making bad products — they are just making different things and have not been able to figure out what is their story and what is the experience they want to offer. (See my take on Microsoft’s stores,)
  • Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia…says designing a strong story and brand comes from paying attention to all those the little details that make up the whole experience for users.
  • During the heyday of the industrial and manufacturing economy, what mattered was the brand, [AdaptivePath CEO Brandon] Schauer says. Today, because we as a country are becoming essentially a services economy, the focus should be around the branded experience instead.
  • –       …the essence of a modern company — technology, infrastructure and complexity hidden by a well designed experience 





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