Are You Creating a Sanctuary for Your Customers?

Coffee Sanctuary in Caffee ReggioI dropped in on Barefoot Coffee yesterday to enjoy one of their fabulous Cubanos and noticed they had remodeled. It still feels cozy there, but it lost a bit of its independent spirit. I’m going to miss their quirky chairs. But, they still pull a great espresso drink and they still create nice latte art. And that, with a number of other touches, make Barefoot one of those sanctuaries that you seek out when you want a great cup of coffee that doesn’t come from the faceless corporate chains. I have a similar experience in one of my favorite dark little coffee houses in NYC, Caffe Reggio (image in this post). The funny thing is, I will go considerably out of my way to visit these places, when I could simply grab a drink at a place like Starbucks. Easy enough, since there is one within every quarter-mile radius. Read full article…

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User Experience Professionals as Product Entrepeneurs

When I attended the IA Summit a few months ago in Vegas, one interesting theme captured my attention: A number of my user experience (UE) colleagues were busy founding their own product or service companies. Mind you, UE professionals have been running design agencies and consulting companies for a long time now. However, these UE professionals are founding new businesses that offer products and services outside the traditional realm of design and research. Read full article…

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Facebook Socially Transforming Online and Offline Experiences

Facebook Logo

Facebook held a press and developer event today to officially launch their Facebook Platform. CNN Money has a pretty decent summary of the implications. Supposedly, these are screenshots on SplashCast of some sample applications on the new platform.

Basically, imagine adding a social layer to any online experience in a way that makes it more useful or more enjoyable, since that layer is composed of people that you know and presumably trust more than some random stranger. Read full article…

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Transformational Experience

Sunset in Santorini

Sunset in Santorini,
originally uploaded by Larry Cornett.

So many of us love a cup of coffee in our favorite cafe, but I don’t think many would call that a “transformational experience”. However, having a cup of coffee in a small cafe on the edge of the caldera at sunset in Santorini? Yes, a transformational experience that created a memory that I will never forget. What price do you put on such a cup of coffee?

The book “The Experience Economy” briefly mentions a key example that helps explain how a simple good can be economically transformed into an experience for which a customer is willing to pay one thousand times more. The following table outlines this transformation for the simple coffee bean. Read full article…

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