The experience architects

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I have worked with teams in the past to “architect” (ok – so it’s not a verb) some pretty amazing Web sites. I have worked with incredibly talented information architects. My roommate in university was studying architecture. Maybe a bit of a stretch, but I love building solutions.

I have started calling myself something new, simply out of the evolving nature of my job. While I still like “navigator” (the inspiration for this blog), a term that struck me recently is “experience architect”.

Knowing that this probably wasn’t original, I did a quick search and found a post from Tom Kelly of IDEO a year ago that discussed architecting experiences in a review of The Experience Economy. He has written a book called The Ten Faces of Innovation that uses this exact term to describe one of the faces of innovation:

“The Experience Architect is that person relentlessly focused on creating remarkable individual experiences. This person facilitates positive encounters with your organization through products, services, digital interactions, spaces, or events. Whether an architect or a sushi chef, the Experience Architect maps out how to turn something ordinary into something distinctive—even delightful—every chance they get.”

Tom Kelly, IDEO

Tony Russell, my boss when I worked at GreyInteractive and Lasso Communications, used to say:

“Online, your brand is only as strong as your customer’s last experience.”

Tony was the guy that helped me really “get it”. He was an ideas guy and really knew what it was all about, I would argue before many had truly clued in. He ranted on and on about customer service. New ideas flew around the office daily. Some were great and others half-baked. But they were ideas. They were the start of an experience. A book called Real Time: Preparing for the Age of the Never Satisfied Consumer by Regis McKenna topped his list of must-reads. There is a great article I helped place in Computer Dealer News about the importance of conversation and customer service in online spaces. It’s pretty amazing how almost 10 years later this still rings true.

Today at FH Digital, we’re really excited by our experience in virtual worlds. Every day, I have the chance to work with people who are doing incredible things in Second Life and Virtual Laguna Beach. Having spent some time myself navigating the metaverse and evaluating opportunities, I can’t wait for the 3D Internet to truly emerge. It seems like every day, we’re embarking on a new adventure.

Wow, that was alot to pack into one post. Talk about stream of thought. I hope you find it useful.

[tags]experience+architect, marketing, web2.0, secondlife[/tags]