When people outside our discipline hear the word experience, they often think about a thrill ride on a roller coaster. While that sure is an experience, too, the experience I mean goes far beyond a thrill ride.
Sometimes the more restrictive terms User Experience (short UX) or Customer Experience (or CX) are being used. I don’t like either of those terms, because the target person doesn’t have to be a user or consumer.
Experience is the summary of all encounters of a person with a product, a brand, etc.
Not all of these encounters are consciously perceived – a lot of them are unconsciously felt. In my opinion, the question whether a person experiences a brand in a satisfying way is one of the most important ones to ask. There isn’t an easy way to answer this question though.
Let us go back to my example above – the roller coaster ride. While the thrilling ride itself is probably a satisfying experience, separating the experience from the rest just doesn’t do. The experience doesn’t start when the roller coaster starts, and it doesn’t end when the ride is over.
Parts of the experience are the waiting in line, the walk in the park, some other rides, getting food, buying the tickets, and much more. In fact, the searching for adventure parks online, planning the trip to the park, and everything else are part of the experience a person undergoes with a brand.