Experience-Led Innovation: a pursuit of transcendence

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In this post, Lipsa Vorasittha talks about Experience Economy and a way to pursue experience-led innovation. Leading up to the Degree Show, she shares her perspective of the Anti-Solutioner as an Innovation Manager.

“We no longer feel life as men did in the past. And this is the ultimate difference.”

In 1970, Toffler forecasted the future economy – a world in which material satisfaction shifts to the provision of psychic gratification. The super-industrialism, as he calls it, would transform the very purpose of economic activity. The new economy has to deal with the new levels of human needs.

Decades later, this shift in values has been reflected by Pine and Gilmore (1998) as the Experience Economy. This called attention to the new economic progression, once dubbed by Toffler, the Post-service Economy.

Today, it is clear that the Experience Economy is already surrounding us. Experience is widely known as the new competitive battleground. Most businesses are now claiming that they’re creating something new of a kind.

But bear in mind: ‘Something’ is not necessarily innovation.

The truth is: experience has become a buzzword, widely used yet often lacking in understanding of its true value. Experience-design thinking should be treated as a holistic approach to problem solving – a lens to spot all aspects of needs. It is a crucial strategy to help innovation thrive rather than just an optional investment, a pleasure augmentation, or a marketing technique.

It is all about a mind-set. Forget what you believe. Forget UX, CX, XD, UI and any other trendy terms you have heard. It is time to open for all possibilities and digest the complexity of experience. This is how I activated the Anti-solutioner mind-set in order to kick-start my research.

My study outlines the experience-design thinking that could help innovation prosper. Through synthesising the essence of experience, I looked at what creates emotional value and its impact on the way the Experience Economy works.

People do not always choose the solution that is easiest for them. Positive emotions and less effort might not necessarily be the case for experience design. Indeed, there are big differences between effortless experience and valuable experience. The research findings led me to develop the Experience Palette – a tool to identify twelve types of emotional value.

To open up new opportunities, experience design needs to (1) embrace the creation of emotional value, and (2) view experiences from the perspective of process, rather than of output. My framework proposes a way to pursue experience-led innovation through addressing the four dimensions of experience: having, doing, being, and becoming. From this, a completely different idea can emerge – an innovation that has been overlooked, but is of high value.

There is no better time to invest on experience-led innovation. Experience is becoming more and more desirable and collectible for people to boost up their experience archive. It is becoming exchangeable not only with money, but also with other experiences. The time is ripe for capturing the opportunities derived from the impact of super-industrialism. People no longer pursue a life as men did in the past, and we should not force them to.

To learn more about the Anti-Solutioner and Lipsa’s research stay tuned for the upcoming MAIM 2015 Degree Show, taking place at Central Saint Martins in the week starting on the 23rd of June.

* Toffler, A. (1970). Future Shock. New York: Bantan books.
* Pine, B. J., & J. H. Gilmore. (1998) Welcome to the experience economy. Harvard Business Review, 86 (4): 97–105.