Lately, due in large part to what Karl Long‘s been writing about, I’ve been thinking about the connection between brand and experience design.

On Sunday, Karl proposed what I think is a great definition of strategic Experience Design:

Strategic Experience Design is the orchestration of a company’s (and partners’) behaviors, communications, environments and products to serve a customer across multiple tasks/activities/contexts.

The behaviors, communications, environments and products bit comes from Wally Olins, who proposed that those are the four ways a stakeholder can experience an organization’s brand.

So, having seen Hugh Dubberly speak at BayCHI earlier this month, I set to sticking Ollins’ four aspects into Dubberly’s model and came up with this:

Image of Dubberlys model of a brand, extended to include experience

I like Karl’s definition because it avoids the oh-so-problematic issue of not being able to design experiences because experiencing is in people. By which, I mean that experiences are shaped by perceptions and vice versa.

I also like that it separates tactical from strategic Experience Design.

Since Karl’s post to Paula Thornton’s experience design group on Yahoo this Sunday, it’s now clear that Experience Design is an appropriate name for the strategic orchestration of a company’s behaviors, communications, environments and products.

Tactical Experience Design is no different than User-Centered Design and since we can’t actually design experiences, we should only use Experience Design to refer to the work of “strategic orchestration.” We should use User-Centered Design to refer to all that other wonderful stuff we do.

I think this is important, so let me be perfectly clear that all the ideas in this post came from Hugh Dubberly, Wally Olins and especially from Karl Long. I just stuck them together.

I hope this is useful. Let me know what you think.

Extending Dubberly's Model of Brand