Design for Delight: Transforming Your Designs From Good To Great

Dana Chisnell & Jared Spool · Wednesday, November 14 · 8:30 am – 5:30 pm · in Plaza B

A good design is usable, useful, and effective. A great design delights its users. Explore a framework that brings your users and customers pleasure, flow, and meaning through your work.

Inspire your organization to go beyond shiny features, with products and services that deliver remarkable delight. Infuse your practices with design principles that focus on the value your team can deliver with a long-term perspective.

Great designs bring customers pleasure, flow, and meaning through the experiences you deliver.

Jared and Dana’s years of research into what makes great designs has uncovered the secrets of delightful products and services.

The Day’s Agenda


Balance features, expectations, and delight.

  • Glean new insights by applying your designs to the Kano model.
  • Avoid the hazards of functional complexity that lead to experience rot.
  • Spot troubles early by focusing on users’ expectations your designs currently miss.

Deliver pleasure when you exceed users’ expectations.

  • Surface key design principles using the Design The Opposite technique.
  • Pinpoint opportunities to infuse pleasure by understanding where current expectations are.
  • Realize where your competitors have ignored capabilities you can take advantage of.


Increase user flow with a focus on end-to-end experiences.

  • Discover where tool time creates friction in the users’ experience.
  • Delight users through enhanced flows that deliver on the promise of rich technologies.
  • Engage stakeholders in the rich potential by exploring powerful customer journey maps.

Capture long-term customer loyalty by infusing meaning into the designs.

  • Deliver designs where your users are bringing benefits to a larger landscape.
  • Harness the power of stories to identify and measure the meaning infused in your designs.
  • Create shared understanding of the value your products and services bring to the world.

Deliver The Most Delightful Experiences To Your Users

Focus your design efforts on the big customer problems.

Move away from the shiny new features that only make your product or service more complex. Create products and services which change people’s lives.

Rally support for delivering best-of-class products.

Corporate mission statements are too vague and buzzword ridden to design to. Put your customers in the center of your organization’s long-term product strategy by broadening your research approach.

Guide smart decisions backed by solid data.

Come to a shared understanding of what makes long-lasting delight, informed by solid user research. Integrate a rich storytelling approach to communicating a solid vision across the organization.

You’ll see how to:

  • Move beyond the feature arms race to lead the competition.
  • Hone your team’s user research efforts to uncover delighters.
  • Create design principles that drive the entire team to think about delight.
  • Identify opportunities where your design can exceed user expectations.
  • Eliminate wasted “tool time” to delight with an optimized user experience.
  • Understand where your design can touch users’ lives in a meaningful way.

New Methods, New Techniques, and New Perspectives on Design

Gain a deeper understanding of the Why.

Connect the dots between the product roadmap and the deep needs of your customers. Integrate critical discussions of what you need to build with why you need to build it. Establish solid criteria for success that’s built on a deep understanding of user needs.

Upgrade your user research toolkit.

Explore new techniques for collecting data focused on what your users truly value. See how intentionally-designed content is essential for delivering high levels of design. Share your insights with compelling deliverables that inspire the team into action.

Develop research-based design principles to guide product direction.

Well-crafted design principles that emerge from richly-researched user stories are what separate a good product or service from a great one. Discover the techniques for honing in on the right design principles to support your product or service’s mission.

Provide new insights to critical strategy discussions.

Bring design’s influence earlier in the product management cycle. Create well-researched insights that deliver solid guidance for product strategy decisions. Put the user in the center of every strategy discussion.

Practice What Jared and Dana Preach

Roll up your sleeves. We’ll take a real design project that has all the potential of being boring, and turn it into something delightful, practicing all the techniques.

Dana Chisnell & Jared Spool

Photo of Dana Chisnell & Jared Spool


Dana Chisnell has taught thousands of people how to experience the experience their users are having.

She made a study of designing for delight over several years when she reached a point where her expertise on usability testing was just very unsexy. (She’s the co-author of Handbook of Usability Testing Second Edition.) Usability testing is a great tool for identifying frustrating points in a design, but what happens after that? She set out to understand what you do after you’ve eliminated all of the frustration with a design — surely, there must be something beyond satisfaction. Her delight framework goes beyond tickling the fancies of users (whatever that means) to looking at how to design for pleasure, flow, and meaning.

Resting on her laurels after working for President Obama at the U.S. Digital Service (2014-16), Dana is a co-founder of the Center for Civic Design with Whitney Quesenbery, where her team works to ensure that every interaction people have with government is efficient, effective, and pleasant.


Jared M. Spool is a co-founder of Center Centre and the founder of UIE.

If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about user experience (UX) design, you know that he’s probably the most effective and knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. He started working in the field of usability in 1978, before the term "usability" was ever associated with computers.

While he led UIE, the industry research firm he started in 1988, the field of UX design emerged and Jared helped define what makes UX designers successful all over the world. UIE's world-class research organization produces conferences and workshops all over the world and for companies in every industry.

In 2016, with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, he opened Center Centre, a new school in Chattanooga, TN to create the next generation of industry-ready UX Designers. They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared's decades of UX experience with Leslie's mastery of experience-based learning methodologies.

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