Experience Design: Changing Lives and Creating Evangelists

Session Title

Experience Design: Changing Lives and Creating Evangelists


John Weiss, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide

Session Type: Presentation

When does an interaction move beyond engagement and into a meaningful (moving someone from discovery to action) and transformative (changing their life) experience? How can you move beyond “Design” that is comprised of select components (aesthetics, interactions, functions) and into holistic “Experience Design” (senses, emotions, pleasurable, connection, authentic, etc).

We’ll begin by exploring a few well known companies/individuals who have created successful experiences that have changed lives by creating rich and valuable experiences. We’ll then dive into practical methods for how to create a culture and process that enables a balance between aesthetics, functionality, emotional connection and curiosity when designing experiences.

Topics will cover:

- Why design must focus on creating experiences that change lives
- How changing lives through experience design (not design) is critical for creating evangelists
- Methods that enable/foster and encourage successful experience design
- Identifying barriers (and how to remove them)
- How to create/shift you and organization’s view/culture to care
- Why form does NOT follow function, but rather the two operate in unison
- Defining success: measuring influence and reach is a continuum that extends beyond the experience, to the actions of your evangelists


John is passionate about creating extraordinary experiences, and has over 11 years experience in design with the vast majority in digital. He is currently the Director, Experience Design of Studio D at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.

John’s work is guided by purpose, passion, simplicity, beauty, innovation and surprise. He stays active in the design community and co-founded Refresh Portland, a monthly event for designers interested in refreshing the creative, technical, and professional culture in the Portland area.

One Comment

  1. Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    A powerful title should have an equally powerful abstract. As is you abstract creates more question than it answer. First, don’t assume everyone is familiar with “purple cows.” I assume you are talking about Godin’s book? Or the Burgess’ known poem (found that on wikipedia)??? Second, What are “authentic and meaningful experiences”? Third, will you present examples? Fourth, how did you know they were transformative? Providing answers to these questions would be helpful.