Friction can be a good thing. Say, for example, you want to stop your car. Without friction, that wouldn’t be possible. That’s the role that friction plays in our lives: to slow momentum and halt forward motion.
Where friction causes problems is when it impedes processes that should flow smoothly. This includes things that are practical, such as a squeaky door hinge, and theoretical, such as smooth conversations or picking up a new technology.
The theoretical is where the role of an experience designer is necessary. Experience design is the art of removing friction from the everyday, and it is an increasingly important aspect of live events.
History of the Experience Designer
Originally, experience designers were limited to the technology industry. Their role was to make the experience of utilizing new technology as easy as possible.
A great example is the iPhone. My 95-year-old grandmother was given an iPhone earlier this year. She was less than excited, being perfectly happy with her clamshell device. By the end of the afternoon, she was navigating her new tech like a pro.
On the other end of the spectrum, when my son was two years old, he was able to flip through my iPhone, find the folder that contained his Sesame Street games, and play Word Hunt with Elmo (or whatever it was).
The point is: there’s something about an iPhone that just makes sense. You pick it up and you “get” it.
That’s because it was exhaustively experience designed before it ever hit the market.
Experience Designing Your Event
So how does this apply to an event? Well, it goes beyond event planning to thinking about the experience from the user’s (attendee’s) point of view, starting at the moment the event is announced to well after the event has ended.
An experience designer will look at an upcoming event in a holistic way, so every component should feel smooth and seamless to an attendee, including:
- Online registration
- Pre-event marketing
- Email and print communication
- Social media outreach
- Event registration
- Venue flow
- Event agenda
- Surveying attendees
- Post-event communications
An experience designer puts people first. In any given situation, the goal is to produce the easiest, most pleasurable outcome for the majority of people.
That last bit is important because an experience designer knows that it will not be possible to please everyone. However, even if someone isn’t completely blown away, a successful experience design minimizes the number of complaints.
The Role of Data
As with most things, the strength of an experience designer lies in the amount of available data.
An experience designer will review all attendee data from past events to gain an understanding of how attendees interacted with certain vendors, spaces, and content as well as the role that technology played in those interactions.
This wealth of information can let an experience designer discover what worked at past events and where the rough patches occurred. This is valuable attendee insight that will make the overall event more successful.
People now expect the same seamless experience whether they are at a doctor’s office, grocery store, or concert. That’s the key reason to utilize an experience designer for your next event: attendee expectations.
For a holistic view of your next live event contact The Trade Group at 800-343-2005. Our experience designers will create a seamless experience for your attendees year after year.