Service Optimization Isn't Experience Design


This is going to be a short blog post but it captures an important point. I get asked a lot about the role of UX and journey mapping in experience design. Journey mapping is a great way to map out stages of a customer’s lifecycle and how consumers interact with other people and technologies over time. But journey mapping isn’t a way to improve the customer experience. It’s a way to optimize service delivery.

@@Confusing service with experience is a fallacy committed by many “experience experts.”@@ If someone claims to tell you something new and innovative about experience design and you can replace the word “experience" with the word “service” and the argument is still intact, that person is probably recycling a standard service argument on you. 

Experience design is concerned with more than service over time. Another way to look at it is this: Experience designers don’t map journeys. They empower people to go on a journey of their own by (re-)shaping the cultural fabric in ways that make them consumers. Here is a snapshot from a recent talk I gave:

Markus Giesler

Markus Giesler draws on concepts from economics, technology studies, and sociology to inform his research in marketing. He determines how ideas and things (products, services, experiences, technological innovations, intellectual property, brands, etc.) are made valuable over time, with research focused on improving marketing strategy through an understanding of markets as evolving social systems. Giesler's research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the European Research Council (ERC) and published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing. Giesler has an extensive entertainment industry background. He founded his own record label at age 17 and has worked in various production and marketing responsibilities for over a decade. He lives in Toronto, Canada.