Designing an Experience

“While everything, technically, is an experience of some sort, there is something important and special to many experiences that make them worth discussing, In particular, the elements that contribute to superior experiences are knowable and reproducible, which makes the designable”—Nathan Shedroff, Experience Design

These types of experiences are not only knowable and reproducible but also memorable. We have the types of experiences Shedroff describes both inside and outside of digital world. The concept of Experience Design applies to website design and interactive media that engage viewers. Yet, walking into a store is no different than visiting a home page of a website. Online and offline, a superior experience is one that requires an attraction, engagement, and a conclusion. How does a website attract and engage viewers?

Just as a digital media rely on different components of design to attract and engage viewers, it is no different for places and things outside the digital realm. Shedroff’s theory of experience as an attraction, engagement, and conclusion is applicable to the stores and business that I included in Greenville’s Buried Treasures.

How does a store or businesses utilize the three components of Experience Design?

To answer this question, let’s look at the fitness studio Pure Barre.


The attraction is what initates an experience by signaling the senses on a cognitive, visual, or auditory levels. Pure Barre attracts viewers with its clean, sleek design. Take one look through the window at Pure Barre, and you will see that this modern studio is not your average fitness facility. The design of the studio is enticing and is what brings people through the doors for an engaging experience.


According to Shendroff, “The engagement is the experience itself. It needs to be sufficiently different than the surrounding environment of the experience to hold the attention of the experience, as well as cognitively important (or relevant) enough for someone to continue the experience.” If people are not engaged by an experience, they will not come back. Different is the key word in Shendroff’s quote. Pure Barre’s unique class structure is l what keeps people engaged and committed to paying a hefty price of $23 per class. After all, there are not many fitness centers that swap treadmills and weight rooms for a ballet bar and 3lb weights.


What’s in it for me? People need a resolution for an experience to be fulfilling. This is what brings an experience full circle. People will not come back to Pure Barre or pay $225 per month if they do not believe they are achieving a more toned and fit body by participating in classes.


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