Design for Peak Experience

by William Hudson | | 16 min read
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A product designed to satisfy everyone is not enough to create a memorable experience. The concept of peak experience highlights the importance of designing specifically for a target audience.

The term "peak experience" usually describes the best part of an experience. Something like "the tarte tatin was to die for" in relation to a meal or "I was completely blown away by that reunion scene" as might occur in a film. Instead, professor of Human-Computer Interaction, Alan Dix uses "peak experience" to distinguish between designs that are just good enough for everyone as opposed to a design that is adored by its intended audience. Let's hear the details from Alan…

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The Takeaway

Alan uses the term “peak experience” to distinguish between designs that are acceptable versus loved. He believes that each person has their own “peak experience”, which could be their favorite food or film. Good-enough designs, or “baked bean designs”, are products that are designed for everyone and are just okay for most people. However, peak designs, or “chocolate bar designs”, are the products that an individual wants for themselves and not necessarily what everyone else wants. When we design for individuals, we should focus on creating peak designs, not-good-enough designs. It is important to remember that good-enough designs are good for no one, and peak designs are the ones that people will absolutely love.

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Hudson, W. (2023, July 24). Design for Peak Experience. Interaction Design Foundation - IxDF.

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