An experience designer is basically a creative commercial designer who designs products, events and services with the experience of the user in mind. An experience designer works within the principles of experiential marketing which is focused on how target groups experience branding and other elements of advertising. In other words, the experience designer does not merely create design as art, but design that is thought out to impact the end user in a way to get the desired result.
In retail stores, an experience designer can create the concepts behind store displays that affect customers. An experience designer must understand the psychology of marketing and why people buy and why they don't buy certain items displayed in certain ways. For example, during the Christmas season a department store window may feature a decorated Christmas tree and other seasonal decorations to attract customer attention. The scene can also feature the store's products such as mannequins wearing seasonal clothing with the price tags featured prominently on them. The store's products featured as part of the seasonal display give a much more pleasant holiday experience to the consumer than the same products sitting on a table or shelf in the store.
Marketing storytelling is a large part of experience design. It tends to involve the target audience in the product in a way that simply presenting a product for sale does not. Experience designers in advertising often use mascots to help sell products. For example, in the food product Hamburger Helper®, the television commercial does not simply present the product to the homemaker as a solution to a quick family dinner. Rather, an animated hand that brands the product and symbolizes that the product is a helping hand to today's cook is used as part of the household in the commercial. The commercial then shows the family sitting down at the table together enjoying the product to complete the success story for the viewer.
Experience designers must always be concerned with the wants and needs of the target audience and how they desire to experience a product or service. The consumer is listened to and involved in the experience in the process of experiential marketing and experience design. An experience designer is a fairly new occupation in the commercial creative arts and schools such as Carnegie Melon University and Ohio State University are known to have some courses that feature experience design concepts.