3 Experience Design Frameworks Worth Exploring

During SITE Global Conference in Dublin this April, World Experience Organization CEO James Wallman shared lots of ideas about how we can collectively design a better future for incentive travel.

We’ve distilled three of the frameworks James presented during his keynote below, to help you explore ways to apply any or all of his ideas when crafting future incentive travel experiences.

Framework #1: STORIES

James shared research during his keynote that argues we still have lots to learn about how to make the most of our free time and how to design leisure experiences that improve quality of life.

It’s perhaps bit odd-sounding, but deciding how to use our leisure time effectively, James said, is not something we automatically know how to do but is a learned skill.

Enter the STORIES framework, developed by James to serve as guideposts about what will make an experience actually enriching rather than leave you on empty. James recommends evaluating an experience based on:

  • Story — will this add to your “personal journey,” and also trigger positive emotions like happiness, resilience, and success?
  • Transformation — it’s in SITE’s mission statement so hopefully this isn’t news to anyone! Truly enriching experiences are ones with transformative potential, or opportunities to grow and develop in new and profound ways.
  • Outside and offline — also not news to our community: interacting face-to-face outside of Zoom, Google, or Microsoft Teams offers unparalleled benefits.
  • Relationships — are you able to make new connections or deepen existing ones?
  • Intensity — activities that encourage you to go deeper or tackle tougher challenges are often more rewarding.
  • Extraordinary — seek out (or design for) a “peak moment.”
  • Status and significance — find opportunities to continue building your personal brand and enhancing your credibility.

Framework #2: BEE Rules

Here, James argues, are the three most memorable elements to keep top of mind when designing an entire event experience:

  • Beginnings — what memories will people take away from the very start of your program, event, or activity?
  • Extremes — often those “peak moments” from the STORIES framework above, that can occur throughout your program.
  • Endings — what’s the last thing people will remember, and how will you ensure it’s truly sticky? 

Framework #3: DARG FUNG, to design for flow

James ended his keynote with a short and simple framework showcasing the qualities needed to design an experience with “flow.” For James, “flow experiences” share these eight characteristics:

  • Delete distractions
  • Active
  • Risk
  • Goals
  • Feedback
  • Unpredictable
  • New
  • Complex

Our thanks to James for inspiring us to continue creating more meaningful incentive travel experiences as we grow, develop, and refine our experience design skills together.

Written by

SITE Staff


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