Good Experience

23Oct06

We have all had good and bad experiences. We value vacations and trips to beautiful cathedrals. There is a reason Cubs fans continue year after year their pilgrimage to Wrigley Field despite the abysmal win-loss records. Going to Wrigley, the cathedral of Cubdom, is a memorable experience.

Mark Hurst of Good Experience is in the business of helping create good experiences. He has a wonderful article here about the three strands of a good experience: aesthetics, meaning, and efficiency.

1. Aesthetics encompasses the artistic side of life; the entertaining, pleasurable, or glamorous. A visual and aural spectacle like Cirque du Soleil, for example, is an experience that relies heavily on aesthetics.

2. Meaning is no easy topic to summarize in 50 words, especially since people find it in different places. Many people attach primary importance to their family, their spiritual discipline, or some other significant activity or community. (Of course, aesthetics often plays a big part in creating meaning.)

3. Efficiency: Also known as usefulness, effectiveness, or practicality. Many popular websites are good examples of this strand: if they quickly and easily deliver an answer, or help you complete a task, you consider it a good experience. Well-run hospitals, banks, and airlines could be other examples of good “efficient experiences”.

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