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Experience Design

Posted on August 01 2018

Late evening and you are walking down a dimly-lit sidewalk. It’s an urban setting; noisy, bustling with motion. You are supposed to meet friends in a new bar. It’s been a rough week- your awful boss was prone to screeching and bellowing, co-workers were reduced to mutant sheep before your very eyes. Your cat, when you got home, was not supportive.  She had vomited in your shoes while you were gone.

 

So, you are stepping quickly, pondering life decisions, anticipating a low-key outing with a few close friends. Arriving at the bar’s address, you are promptly directed into a refrigerator storage locker.

 

Inside, you are suddenly transported through the “Looking Glass” into a different world.

 

 

Inside, you are suddenly transported through the “Looking Glass” into a different world.  A cool breeze, like a trade-wind from a faraway island, caresses your face.  Mist from a tropical sea tickles your senses; a volcano bellows off in the distance. Your ears detect the call of exotic birds, monkeys, mysterious jungle drums.  You have entered the realm of the TIKI BAR – a place where time is meaningless and escapism rules.  This is FALSE IDOL, located in the Little Italy area of downtown San Diego. In the spirit of the Disneyland creations of the past mid-century , FALSE IDOL demonstrates one of the newest, truest examples of EXPERIENCE DESIGN.

 

Finding it is part of the DESIGN – you are an explorer and this EXPERIENCE was purposely DESIGNED FOR YOU. 

 

This is not meant to be real. FALSE IDOL  is a hidden escape, an island oasis, a paradise for the initiated.  The fact that it is not obvious, not realistic, not conventional is a big part of its appeal.  It is HIDDEN, almost in another dimension.  Finding it is part of the DESIGN – you are an explorer and this EXPERIENCE was purposely DESIGNED FOR YOU.  It was artistically created to give you a certain unique and novel feeling. You become entranced with the exotic primitive carvings, the glass Japanese fishing balls hanging from the ceiling, bamboo and waterfalls.  The drinks are ornate and often flaming, served in containers that resemble relics from some lost tribe. You and your friends are enthralled by this atmosphere of wild whimsy.  This is a place you will talk about to others.

 

Clever use of EXPERIENCE DESIGN creates the environment your target client will live in and take with them.

 

This is an example of how EXPERIENCE DESIGN can benefit a business. Clever use of EXPERIENCE DESIGN creates the environment your target client will live in and take with them.  If it’s a “brick and mortar” store: Who approached you and how were customers greeted? Was there music, sound, smell, color?  What experience did the surroundings provide?  These details, all built on creating the right feeling,  influence whether you build a repeat customer base.  If your business is on-line, EXPERIENCE DESIGN would pertain not just to practical issues (is it user-friendly, easy to navigate?) but also to developing layers of interesting content that is updated frequently, surprises occasionally, but remains congruent with your themes and overall “feel”.   

 

You and your friends left FALSE IDOL vowing to return again and again. In fact, you would live there if you could.  But someone has to feed your cat.

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