In my recent post, THEME the Experience, I discussed how that five-letter mnemonic led Jim and me to discover some pretty important principles in designing experiences, including that of mixing in memorabilia, the “M” of “THEME.”
But a lot has changed since 1999! One thing, in particular, that has impacted experience design is the rise of the smartphone. As it became more prevalent with the debut of the iPhone ten years ago, I began telling companies that their guests were just one click away from being out of the experience, so they needed to ensure that the design and staging of that experience was so compelling that guests would not even think of getting out their smartphones.
But a lot has changed since even then! Now, thinking guests will never get out their smartphones is a fool’s errand. In fact, taking out a smartphone more often than not means that a guest is totally engaged with the experience – and wants to take a picture of it. So that is now the new experience standard: design and stage your experience to be so compelling that guests can’t help but get their smartphone out and take pictures!
So when mixing in memorabilia as the fourth of our five design principles, don’t just think of objects that guests take back with them and keep. Design also for the media that they share via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other such experience domains. Think, therefore, of our fourth design principle now as “Mixing in memorabilia + media”.