There is the conference room screen, there are one-panel sign displays, the tinny sound of a laptop speaker – and then there is experiential design. Experiential design gets you beyond the one-dimensional. It has the potential to sweep people into a memorable, multi-dimensional experience.
Experiential design has some key elements to consider, and integrators are in a position to be the guiding force in working alongside experience designers to help clients build out these interactive storytelling environments. Let’s take a look at these key elements and explore how AV integration and experience designers can work together in harmony.
It all starts with content. Clients will know what content they want to display, and it’s the designer’s job to figure out how to deliver that message in a consistent and compelling manner. Since the message is being carried over multiple media sources and likely moves people through a beginning, middle and end point as they are physically moving through the interactive space, the content will need to flow seamlessly. We are in charge of taking the story the client wants to tell, and bringing it to life in the experiential design installation.
Clients and architects will have potentially grand visions for the experiential design environment. Working within their budget, what design elements are most important? Will this be an installation of smaller screens that lead people through a series of interconnected experiences? Or will there be multiple video walls that immerse people in one larger unified experience? Is it a single timeline wall, or is it a larger space where the intent is to lead the target audience through a buying journey?
Experiential design should get people’s attention, but it should not get in the way. It might be tempting to create a big wow factor – and there’s nothing wrong with that if it serves the overall goal of the installation.
Of course in addition to being visually stunning, experiential design installations need to provide something useful to the target audience. The experience may be geared toward educating or entertaining, or a little bit of both. It should solve a problem or provide the user with a sense that this was time well spent.
Experience in designing AV solutions for all sorts of situations in a variety of spaces lends itself to greater attention to detail in the environment. Where is this experiential design situated? Is there an abundance of natural light, or is it in a windowless room? What are the room dimensions? Understanding layout, flow of foot traffic, window and doorway configurations all will have some bearing on how the space will be utilized in terms of experiential design. Designers bring a valuable perspective for how the wider environment will affect the overall experience.
Designers and architects ensure that the experience of the space is physically accessible for their target audience. A learning environment for children will look very different from a space geared toward quantum physicists. For children, displays will be placed lower, and the interactivity will likely be an even stronger consideration. Together, there is valuable perspective in working with the experiential designer and a mutual client.
At the end of the day, our job is all about user experience. How does the target market interact with the experiential design? It needs to be simple and intuitive, but also engaging and something people want to spend time with.
The target audience should find experiential design intuitive. They should be able to move through the experience always with a clear sense of where they are headed next.
With these elements taken into consideration, your experience will be a welcome addition to the planning and execution of an experience design installation. Working in harmony will not be a difficult goal to achieve – and there’s no reason it should not be an expected outcome.
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