27 June 2012 // Thoughts

The Value of Experiential Design: Lessons Learned

Thanks to JRA’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Shawn McCoy, over the past few months we’ve reviewed a number of experiential design case studies and how experiential design can add value in a variety of ways. When considering how the principles of experiential design can be applied to various fields on a daily basis, it’s important to re-visit our earlier definitions.

Whereas experiential design can be defined as:

… the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments based on the consideration of an individual’s or group’s needs, desires, beliefs, knowledge, skills, experiences, and perceptions,

 At Montefiore Hosptial in Bronx, New York, the experience of listening to music is seen as a tool for healing.

Experiential design in the leisure industry can be defined as:
…The creation of a holistic experience that connects to audiences on an emotional level through the use of story, unique architecture, immersive environments, interactivity, media and a guest-focused operations

At the JRA-designed National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, guests see, hear and experience the stories of those who fled slavery in search of freedom.

  • • No amount of theming or guest experience can compensate for a bad underlying product.
  • • Think of your guests or customers as your audience, your environment as your stage, your employees as your actors, your product or service as the story, your delivery of service as your script, and your support operations as your backstage.
  • • Maniacally focus on the guest experience, create layers of memorable touchpoints with your brand, base every part of your experience on a consistent storyline and connect to a variety of audiences on an emotional level.
  • • It is attention to detail that makes the difference.
  • • And finally, innovate – do not be afraid to push to envelope about what can be accomplished.

Those who provide their guests with quality, guest-focused experiences will not only be providing memorable experiences but will also be providing the basis for their own success. This is, in fact, the value of experiential design.


We hope you’ve enjoyed Shawn’s blog series on The Value of Experiential Design.  Check back next week, as we celebrate Independence Day by saluting JRA’s patriotic projects.  Thanks for reading!