What is a meaningful customer experience? I know it sounds obvious, but I got halfway through the book “Making Meaning” before I really understood the full meaning behind it. The authors weave a magnificent blend of business and design philosophy into a holistic mantra on how experience should be the driving force of a company’s culture.
I found this book to be an inspirational perspective on today’s world. All three authors come from a marketing consultancy founded by Louis Cheskin in the 1960’s. Their experience dates back to the earliest years of market research (yes, think Mad Men) and contrasts this to where companies are at today. Consumers have so many options these days. Success is no longer about innovation or brand recognition, but has become about providing an experience that customers really want and value.
I do not think a seasoned UX practitioner will be introduced to that many new concepts after reading this book. Instead, they will be left with an appreciation of how those concepts can be directly applied to a business process. Designers will be reminded of how important their role has become. Their job is not done when a product is released; the UX professional must now identify all possible touch-points for a customer and ensure that the experience includes all of those areas in a meaningful way.
So how does a designer or a company go about creating meaning? The authors keep it fairly abstract. There is no deep dive into the concepts and some readers may end up with more questions than answers on how to proceed. To give the book credit, it does reference several companies as examples of success, including a fictitious company called Footworks. I also thought the authors did a good job of outlining an extensive flow of best practices.
Overall, I recommend reading this book. It is a relatively quick read and should give you a refreshing perspective if nothing else. You will find some meaning in Making Meaning no matter what.