TOTAL EXPERIENCE explores designing for experience: its theory, its practice, and how designing for experiences affects us socially and in our personal lives.


  • Bob Jacobson
  • Paula Thornton
  • BOB JACOBSON is fascinated by the experience of experience. A planner and technologist, Bob has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning & Design from UCLA. He's been a policy researcher, technology CEO, science writer, and consultant. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied cellular telephony's impacts on transborder communities in the Nordic Arctic Circle. Bob edited Information Design (MIT Press 2000) and is now writing a book on the theory and practice of creating edifying, transformative experiences.
    ( Archive | Contact Bob )
    CORANTE PAULA THORNTON says, "Understanding human behavior (economics), optimizing interactions (design) and facilitating conversations (markets), are the means to achieve strategic differentiation. This is the focus of our discipline. It is not a 'nice to have'‚ and is not, like documentation once was, an afterthought. It is the means by which to start a strategic discussion and the means by which to drive a tactical initiative. All design should be evidence-based."
    ( Archive | Contact Paula ) >

    (Courtesy of Mark Vanderbeeken, Experientia SpA, Torino)

    Experience Design Websites
    Core 77 Website & Forum
    Business Week|Innovate
    InfoD: Understsanding by Design
    The Wayfinding Place
    Wayfinding Focus
    Design Addict
    L-ARCH (Landscape Architecture Mailing List)
    DUX 2007 Conference
    Digital Thread
    Enmeshed, Digital Arts & New Media
    Ludology (Game Playing Theory)
    Captology, Persuasive Computing
    Space and Culture
    Raskin Center for Humane Interfaces
    timet (acoustical design)
    Steve Portigal, Ethnographer
    Jane McGonigal's Avant Game
    Ted Wells' living : simple
    PingMag (Japan)

    Experience Design Blogs
    Adam Greenfield's Speedbird
    Experience Designer Network (Brian Alger)
    SmartSpace: Annotated Environments (Scott Smith)
    Don Norman
    Doors of Perception (John Thackara)
    Karl Long's Experience Curve
    Work•Play•Experience (Adam Lawrence)
    The David Report (David Carlson)
    Design & Emotion (Marco van Hout)
    Museum 2.0 (Nina Simon)
    B J Fogg
    Lorenzo Brusci (acoustics)
    Cool Town Studios
    Steve Portigal
    Debbie Millman
    MIT Culture Convergence Consortium
    Luke Wroblewski, Functioning Form|Interface Design
    Adam Richardson
    Putting People First (Paul Vanderbeeken/Experientia
    Laws of Simplicity (John Maeda)
    Challis Hodge's UX Blog
    Anne Galloways's Purse Lips Square Jaw
    Bruno Giussani's Lunch over IP
    Jane McGonigal's Avant-Game The Future of Work

    Experience Design Podcasts
    Ted Wells' living : simple Podcast
    Design Matters Podcast, Debbie Millman
    Icon-o-Cast Podcast, Lunar Design

    Experience Design Firms and ED-Oriented Manufacturers
    Barry Howard Limited
    Hilary Cottam
    LRA Worldwide, Inc.
    BRC Imagination Arts
    Stone Mantel
    Experientia s.r.l
    Herman Miller
    Cooper Interactive Design
    Doblin Group
    Fit Associates
    Strategic Horizons LLC (Joe Pine & Jim Gilmore)
    Cheskin Fresh Perspectives

    Education and Advocacy
    Centre for Design Research, Northumbria University (UK)
    Center for Design Research, Stanford University
    International Institute of Information Design (IIID)
    Design Management Institute
    Interaction Institute IVREA
    Design Research Institute (UK)
    UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Design Research
    History of Consciousness, UCSC
    Design News Magazine
    Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEGD)
    Design Museum London
    Center for Sustainable Design
    Horizon Zero, Digital Arts+Culture in Canada
    Design Council UK
    First Monday

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    Monthly Archives

    January 22, 2005

    On Being Human

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    Posted by Paula Thornton

    Child Reaching.jpg Obviously, one of the critical bodies of knowledge for our discipline is the study of human behavior. With that, I have a recommendation. Eating my cereal and soy milk this morning I happened to flip to the Discovery Health network. I had the priviledge of catching the end of what is apparently a recurring three-part series: The Baby Human.

    While I'll hopefully be catching the rebroadcast this afternoon (I can't go too far from home today, as the beginning of a winter snowstorm is quietly decending on the WDC area), I wanted to share the inspiration I gathered from this, in the hopes that some of you might also be inspired to watch.

    ...continue reading.

    Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Theories of Experience

    January 16, 2005

    New Kid On the Block

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    Posted by Paula Thornton

    top_logo_exhibitions.jpeg Late in September 2004 the last piece of open real estate on the National Mall was filled up with the new National Museum of the American Indian. Given that there were so many people in town for the pending inauguration festivities (I've never seen so many Portapoties in a row) visiting the new Museum required that we stand in line for a while to get through security (just purse/backback checks). That delay gave us time to appreciate the gorgeous lines and texture of both the architecture and the landscape.
    But that was only heightened by the visuals inside. I could have stared for hours at the detailed craftsmanship of the massive copper sculpture surrounding the ground floor tribal circle made to represent a wooden fence threaded with birch bark. Don't get me started on the design of the elevator doors, the matching theme inside the elevators and the stonework on the floors...

    We headed straight for the 4th floor. We were there for over 2 hours and I only saw half of the exhibits just on that floor alone.

    I wanted to publically thank all the designers involved in this fabulous celebration of history. I was particularly impressed with the multimodal design to be experienced in the Lelawi Theatre. An intimate circular setting (tiered bench seating in the round), at the center was a 4-sided logpole frame with a coarse cream woven blanket hung from each side. These served as projection screens...well, some of them. Under the frame was a large, lumpy rock-like piece that also served as a screen, and the domed ceiling overhead served as a screen as well. Literally, you would have to see the exhibit over and over again from different angles to take in all the visual projections. And it wasn't overdone.

    The last item that I got to take in, that I just kept staring at, was a document signed by George Washington. In such an informal/comfortable environment, it seemed like such an important piece of history to be randomly mixed in with all the other artifacts. For a girl not used to being steeped in the history of America, it inspired an awe or two.

    I guess maybe I should head to the National Mall more often on weekends. The price of admission (free) is certainly affordable.

    Comments (1) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: The Practice of Experience Design

    January 13, 2005

    January 1, 2005