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

    July 5, 2005

    Attracting Existing Energy

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    Posted by Paula Thornton

    As Experience Design goes, I tend to be an advocate for the 'small stuff' and leave the 'large stuff' to people like Joseph Pine. I wanted to share this decidedly small stuff experience to serve as a testimony of what works.

    While much of what I write about focuses on companies who prevent customers from doing business with them, this is clearly a celebration of a decidedly small company that made a point of maintaining/building on the 'attraction' of what might otherwise end up being a one-time customer.

    Here's the story.

    I have a refrigerator with a changeable water filter. It's a fabulous, time-saving feature that helped us replace a former routine of having huge 5-gallon bottles of water delivered to our doorstep (with associated requirements of having to find storage for 3 full bottles and two empty bottles -- not a desirable challenge in less than 1500 square feet living space -- all important details for those of us who look to understand the full depth of experiences). But this water filter is not something that is easily purchased up during my normal shopping routines to the grocery store. It takes some effort -- effort that is not necessarily cherished.

    In fact, I spent quite a bit of time looking for an appropriate online source for this small but important piece of my daily life, at the best price. I even saved a box from the last filter (which is lying on the floor in my garage right now, as a reminder) to make sure I'd know what I had to order. The task to reorder this filter has been 'nagging' me of late. But the thought of finding the reference to my previous order just wasn't appealing. I'm sure I would have waited for the red light to show up on the refrigerator until my 'tipping point' would have been reached.

    But today, this arrived in my inbox. I leave this to stand on its own as a best practice for a small but effective means to increase business and build relationship equity, that very few companies focus on.

    Hello Paula Thornton,

    On your last order placed with on 10/5/2004 you requested to be notified in 9 months that it is time to change your refrigerator water filter.

    That time has passed and it is now time to change your refrigerator water filter. Below you will find a link to the product(s) that you ordered when you signed up for our free reminder service.

    We also would like to offer you a $1 discount on your next order as our Thank You to you for your continued support. To redeem the discount, simply enter the discount code 8899101 in the disount code box while in the shopping cart and click on the update button. You will see the discount reflected in your total.

    You last ordered the following products. Click the product name to view the details and to order your replacement.

    WF50, UKF8001AXX, 12589208 Amana Water Filter

    Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to serving you for your next order. Best regards,

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