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

    Total Experience on Technorati
    Technorati Profile

    Get Camino!

    Total Experience

    Category Archives

    July 5, 2007

    Relationships Are About the Total Experience

    Email This Entry

    Posted by Paula Thornton

    UPDATE: I've added several postscripts to the bottom of this. Combined with today's information makes this worthy of a republish. Today I got a phonecall from AT&T (ok, what part? no clue...) to personally 'clarify' my concern and escallate this issue to management. At least there 'is' a mechanism and it's active enough that this case made it into the pipeline. What surprised me was that I had to paint a picture for the caller. They don't personally have an email account like this..."here's your sign".

    Orignially published June 18, 2007
    ATTYAHOO.png I'm still on hold as I'm writing this...such is the beauty of the 'channel of one' that blogs afford.

    Companies need to begin paying attention to something besides the bottom line. They're missing 98% of the reason that dollars show up there in the first place...relationships.

    If people paid as little attention to their relationships that most 'big' businesses do...we'd solve the population explosion. There's a lot of 'lip service' out there to customer-centric, but it's all a checklist, "Yep, I've got someone working on that." Forrester even has shown the progress over the last 3 years in 'doing' anything about those great intents.

    So, here I am on the phone stuck between two call centers: one that is supposed to help me with my 'issues' (but only the ones they have scripts for), and the other one that can close my entire relationship with AT&T...and there is not a single business executive in the mix to realize what is going on or why. So I'm telling them here.

    It's not like I haven't tried (and oh-by-the-way...this costs me time and money too...multiply that by even 100,000 customers and that's a lot of time and money). I wrote an went to Yahoo! My question was, according to them, something that AT&T needed to handle.

    Weeks later (who has time to waste like this, going nowhere fast?) I was online again. I opted into the online chat...I was 56th in line and it was moving about 1 a minute -- you do the math. I was able to find a phone number. I called. The support line, mentioned before, could only address 'real' problems...mine didn't qualify.

    I insisted that I be escalated. They didn't even have an escalation proceedure. So I gave them one..."Escalate this so that I can close my ENTIRE relationship with AT&T."

    Now I'm on the phone with account close. They're asking me for information only available on my bill...never mind that I do all my billing online (so can you wait for 5 mintues while I go through your interactions to bring up a bill so I can look at it? -- who tests these rediculous scenarios anyway?).

    What's the big deal anyway? Paying for a free service.
    Anyone can sign up for a free Yahoo! email account. It comes with advertisement banners on every page. Until recently 'not' getting those banners was the benefit of paying for my AT&T | Yahoo! account. Not any more. My paid account now has advertisement all over it. So why do I need to pay for this experience?

    Someone has made the decision to 'add' this to the experience without considering the implications. Maybe I'm a lone voice...I hope that I'm not [apparenly not]. We shouldn't allow our relationships to be prostituted in this way (as it is, this email account was originally owned by was sold 3 times before it got to AT&T...I didn't change, they did).

    I am looking for AT&T to take accountability for the products/services and corresponding experiences that they are selling...otherwise, the field is white with competition. Anyone ready for a new client?

    I realize this is not world hunger...what it is, is companies being irresponsible in their decisions and their impact to customers...the whole reason for their existence. Ok, maybe for someone like AT&T, commercial accounts are worth a lot more...but if we can get 100,000 voices to stand up as a collective...they'd carry a little weight.

    The beauty of 'online' is the nature by which one voice gains velocity and intensity through the inflection of others. The voiceless now can be heard. Relationships are not humanless processes.

    Black isn't the only color cars can be made in.

    I have continued to raise this 'voice' through any and every channel that I can. I posted a comment through the 'abuse' channel (the options didn't give me too many choices). I received a response dated Jul.03.07, which stated the following:

    We apologize for the inconvenience. The advertising is a needed step
    towards providing world class service at an affordable price.

    If you could see the dancing aliens that come up and take up half the page as I'm trying to read a personal email, I'm not sure you'd classify it as "world class". Call it what you will, it still smacks of prostitution.

    Imagine you've just sent a tender email to your near-delivery pregnant daughter, only to have a 5" ape jumping up and down on your screen pounding his chest. Each time an ad shows up it reminds me how much I hate doing business with AT&T.

    That's the kind of negative relationship equity companies would pay to avoid.
    Instead, we get to pay for the priviledge of being annoyed.

    Comments (0) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Commentary | This Is Broken