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David Lee King

The Experience Realms



I have a few more thoughts about experience planning, gleaned from the book The Experience Economy, by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore.

There’s a great illustration in this book (I’ve seen it other places too) that depicts the different parts of an “Experience.” Pine and Gilmore call the concept connected to the illustration “The Experience Realms.” I’m going to explain this concept, because I think it can work in libraries and on library websites. But first, here’s the illustration:

the experience realms
So let’s talk about this concept – what’s it all about? For starters, The Experience Realms focuses on two very important sets of properties, one horizontal and one vertical. The horizontal set shows the level of guest participation. One side represents passive participants, where customers don’t directly affect or influence the performance (like watching a symphony). The other side represents active participation, where customers personally affect the event or performance. Skiers, who create their own exhilarating experience while participating in it, is a good example of active participation.

The vertical properties help define the kind of connection, or the environmental relationship, that unites the customer with the event. One side focuses on Absorption. Absorption occupies attention by bringing the experience into the mind. The experience literally “goes into” the customer, like when watching TV – it’s absorbed inside a person.

The other side of the vertical line is Immersion, where you become physically or virtually a part of the actual experience. Instead of the experience going into the guest, with immersion, the guest “goes into” the experience. Think paint ball or Runescape here.

The exciting part of this concept is the stuff between each of these dimensions. This is where the four realms of experience come into play – that of entertainment, education, escapism, and estheticism.

Which I’ll start discussing in the next post – stay tuned!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/7681120 Troy

    Dave,
    I’ve found Dewey’s Art as Experience useful in understanding how to construct/facillitate “experiences” within a large academic library. Dewey contends that aesthetic experiences are just refined prosaic experiences. Given the ubiquity of info in our world, I’ve trained myself to think in terms of “good ole fashion human desire” rather than “information seeking behavior.” In this way I’ve been able to develop public programming with a heightened aesthetic component. Why? because people love beautiful things.

    Best,
    Troy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/7681120 Troy

    Dave,
    I’ve found Dewey’s Art as Experience useful in understanding how to construct/facillitate “experiences” within a large academic library. Dewey contends that aesthetic experiences are just refined prosaic experiences. Given the ubiquity of info in our world, I’ve trained myself to think in terms of “good ole fashion human desire” rather than “information seeking behavior.” In this way I’ve been able to develop public programming with a heightened aesthetic component. Why? because people love beautiful things.

    Best,
    Troy