Meet the Experience Model, your new BFF in guiding digital strategy.

Session Title

Meet the Experience Model, your new BFF in guiding digital strategy.


Cristin Witcher, Designkitchen

Session Type: Demo

We all know the standard deliverables in an interaction designer’s repertoire – personas, sketches, story boards, wireframes, usability findings presentations… Enter the Experience Model, your new best friend.

Forget tired ‘Awareness, Consideration, Purchase, Loyalty’ company-centric processes. Experience Models are snapshots of the steps *customers* go through in a given process. They are visual representations of people’s pain points, joy points, and gaps in current experiences. They move beyond static depictions of “users” to highlight how people’s needs and mindsets change over time. And if you work with promotions or advertising agencies, you will find that experience models are the Rosetta Stone of channel planning by serving as an effective customer needs translation tool across the digital, promotions, marketing and advertising spaces.

Experience Models are used at progressive user-centered design companies such as Designkitchen, Doblin, Conifer, Gravity Tank, IDEO and Arc Worldwide as well serving as a core part of the Institute of Design Masters of Design curriculum.

During this session Cristin and Kathy will describe the intended purpose of an Experience Model and then demonstrate how to create and use Experience Models within your organization. They will have examples on hand to help inspire you to create Models of your own as soon as you get back to the office. Together they’ve modeled the experience of train travelers, kitchen remodelers, jewelry wearers, car battery jumpers, two-way radio buyers, and more.

We guarantee two things about Experience Models. First, your clients will never have heard of them, so this is your chance to bring them something new. Second, once you deliver your Model, along with the fantastic ideas that come out of your Model-driven user-centered brainstorm sessions, your clients will be convinced of your genius. Experience Models will become a part of your standard user experience offering.


About Cristin Witcher, Senior User Experience Designer at Designkitchen
Though it didn’t become clear until much later, Cristin has been destined to work in the user experience field since she was very young. Cristin can owe her career to the terrible design of her childhood bedroom. After more than a decade of having to shimmy around the door to actually enter her room, it’s no surprise that today she is working to make things easier to use. Cristin has been in the field since 2001, first with Accenture, then ThoughtWorks, and now Designkitchen. Her childhood room has since been transformed into a guest bedroom, effectively confounding family and friends alike when they come to stay.

About Kathy Beymer, Director of User Experience at Designkitchen
In small digital shops (Designkitchen) and advertising behemoths (Leo Burnett / Arc) alike, Kathy has helped teams create and use experience models for about 7 years now working side-by-side with former eLab and Institute of Design vets. She is amused at how something so common sense has yet to become more of the industry norm for driving not only digital experiences but the entire customer experience – from sites to social to store to service to product to mobile and more. A 15-year veteran in interactive design, her favorite thing in the world is to brainstorm cool ideas …and she owes much of her inspiration to experience models.