David Lee King’s Digital Experience: Interview in TK Magazine

I Was Featured in TK MagazineI recently gave a book-related interview for a local-to-Topeka magazine, TK Magazine. People actually read it! I’ve had a number of people stop me and say they saw “my article” – that’s sorta cool. Here’s the interview:

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In the March/April 2008 issue of TK, we introduced you to the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library’s new “Digital Branch” – a library branch that exists entirely on the Web, enabling you to check out books, pick out movies and music, and just about anything you else you want to do at the main library (except you can do it all in your PJs!).

The whiz behind the development of the library’s website [aside – LOTS of very smart people built our website – definitely not just me!] is David Lee King. He has just published his first book, “Designing the Digital Experience,” which aims to help you create a website that offers such a positive digital experience that your visitors will not only return, but will share links to your site with all their friends, family and co-workers.

TK: What is “experience design?”

DK: Experience design is the practice of designing, well, lots of things – products, services, events, and environments – but with the customer’s experience fully in mind. A good example of experience design in action is a visit to two restaurants, McDonalds and Hard Rock Cafe. At McDonald’s, you get a sandwich, and the normal fast-food experience – rather bland (some would argue, just like the sandwich).

But when you visit the Hard Rock Cafe, the “experience” you have while at the restaurant is geared toward a theme – that of rock music. Everything, including the food and drink you order, the decor of the place, t-shirts you can buy, even the background music playing, is themed to provide you with a “rock and roll” experience that you can’t help but notice.

Hard Rock Cafe has designed an experience around rock and roll – only part of the total experience involves the actual food.

TK: How does that relate to my website?

DK: Websites are rapidly changing from electronic brochures about an organization or business to an actual destination, where real-life, real-time transactions take place. Take my bank, for instance. At my bank’s website, I can balance my checkbook, pay bills, and transfer money. I can do actual, real-world things at the website.

Organizations are starting to improve the experience their customers have while at the site in order to better serve their customers.

TK: What will our readers learn from your book?

DK: My book will quickly get you up-to-speed about what digital experience design is, and different approaches to take with your website in regards to digital experience. I also provide ideas to help jump-start your thinking about what your customers experience while at your website, and ways to help improve those experiences.

* original article online at TK Magazine, used by permission

** Photo by Bryan Nelson

Podcast about Designing the Digital Experience

Sarah Long, Director of the North Suburban Library System, interviewed me a couple weeks ago about my book, Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love on her Longshots podcast series (part of the Library Beat blog).

Give it a listen!

Designing the Digital Experience: Chapter 1

my book arrivedMy book has been reported in the wild! Someone told me via twitter that she’d received my book, Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love, from Amazon a few days ago – so that’s cool.

What else is cool? How about giving you chapter 1? Here’s a snippet:

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Experience Economy

“What’s my daughter playing on the computer this evening? Oh, she’s on the American Girl site, and she’s playing Kaya’s Catch of the Day. She also sent an American Girl ecard to her cousin and looked at this year’s new doll. We receive American Girl catalogs and magazines in the mail and check out the latest books from the library. We even visited American Girl Place in Chicago last winter as a birthday surprise (the girls and mom watched a musical, had ate a party, and shopped, while my son and I checked out the science museum and LEGO Store).

What’s going on here? Why is my daughter so into this stuff? Because American Girl is all about the experience. It focuses on the fun of exploring and living as a girl in America’s past. The American Girl people are engaging their market in creative ways –  specifically targeting grade school and middle school girls. They know how to delight their customers. I know – I’ve seen my daughter’s smiles. As we continue to think about experience, let’s consider the experiences of a trip to an amusement park and the purchase of a computer.”

Want more? Here’s the rest of chapter 1!

My New Book: Designing the Digital Experience

Designing the Digital ExperienceI wrote a book! The title is: Designing the Digital Experience: How to Use Experience Design Tools & Techniques to Build Websites Customers Love. It should be out this October.

What’s the book about? Here’s a snippet from the Introduction:

“Visitors to an organization’s digital space don’t want to think about interacting with its website. They want to — quickly and easily — make a purchase, find information, or do research. It helps if they can be engaged and enchanted in the process. How can we facilitate this excellent experience? It’s all about intentional design.

Consider the concept of “experience design.” Nathan Shedroff describes it as designing the “sensation of interaction with a product, service, or event, through all of our senses, over time, and on both physical and cognitive levels.”1 Simply stated, experience design is “an approach to creating successful experiences for people in any medium.”2

Designing digital experience is similar, yet unique. That’s because in a digital space, experience designers have to “compensate for the absence of a sales professional who stands ready to greet customers as they arrive [and] to cheerfully help them accomplish their goal.”3

This book introduces digital experience design for websites. I have seen great information on parts and pieces of experience design. For example, B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore’s book, The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, does a great job of exploring experience generally but really doesn’t focus on digital experiences. Other books are great at helping improve the user experience on websites but miss the broader picture of designing digital experiences. This book connects the dots. It explains how website structure, community, and customers are all parts of the total digital experience.” (Read the rest of the introduction).

Want more? There are a couple of places you can follow along with book happenings and thoughts related to the book:

Bear with me – I’ll be posting book-related updates (along with my usual posts) for the next couple of months. I’m excited about it! More later…