Framework for Building Customer Experiences

Peter Merholz from Adaptive Path shares a nice framework for building experiences over at his Harvard Business weblog: Experiences, interactions, touchpoints, procedures and systems, all building on one another.

This is very similar to the argument Pine and Gilmore make in their book The Experience Economy where they advance the notion that services are the building blocks for experiences (which are in turn the building blocks for transformations). The new framework breaks down services into their structural components. This is a helpful exercise, although I’ve always pictured the “strata” more like the pyramid from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It seems like an apt metaphor given the domain.

Merholz raises an important point. It’s not just the structure but the order in which you build. Do you start at the system level and arbitarily add layers until you arrive at a cumulative experience, or do you start with the experience and backcast your way to the systems necessary to fulfill that vision?

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