Experience Design: a Magic Potion for L&D Success

Written by
Anne Brassier
Published on
December 17, 2021

The key goal to any of our learning experiences and journeys is creating memorable moments for our clients. To do this we put a big dollop of magic in the learning design cauldron, then add generous sprinkles of pride, insight and connection. Here's how those ingredients make a powerful magic potion:

Cards showing ifferent workshop themes and outcomes

An experience can take many forms… it can be in person or remote; it can make you think, laugh, learn and be wow’d. It can be a quiet, reflective session, a walk or learning the art, and science, of magic. What all of these experiences have in common is bringing people together and bonding them over a shared event.

What is a moment memorable?

Attention, novelty and emotion do; it goes without saying that participants should be engaged and have fun. This paves the way for landing – and embedding – crucial information so that the experience lives on after a workshop is finished. We want people to talk about what they experienced, gush about it even! Participants often become internal ambassadors for a new way of being and champion new company values. When that happens, we know we’ve succeeded in creating a memorable moment for employees.

One workshop can’t change everything, but it can ignite a new perspectives and new ways of thinking – about their role, their team and the company as a whole. If one session can do that, imagine the power of many moments!

HelloFresh hard at work learning!

Before starting any design, our learning design team ask…
  • How can we use the power of magic to elevate everyday moments and bring learning to life?
  • How might the experiences we create help people feel proud by challenging their limiting beliefs?
  • How might we spark insights for people to develop their self, and social, awareness?
  • How might we cultivate deeper connections between people?

Elevate learning

Psychological research suggests that learning to perform magic tricks can create a wide range of benefits, including enhanced creativity (Wiseman, Wiles & Watt, 2021), and boosted social skills and self-esteem (Bagienski & Kuhn, 2019). Moreover, magic-based interventions show that magic tricks can be used to effectively communicate about a variety of topics, delivering educational messages in an entertaining way (Wiseman & Watt, 2018). Likewise, performing magic tricks helps communicate specific concepts in organisational behaviour (Krell & Dobson, 1999). There’s a lot of psychology behind the use of magic!

Ignite pride

We want participants to feel valued, listened to and appreciated. In turn, they come to understand and respect their colleagues in new ways. People leave our sessions with a renewed sense of joy for, and pride in, their work. What’s the long tail of feeling pride in our work? Increased loyalty, championing the company, a better sense of community and belonging, and feeling more motivated. Ta-da!

Unlock insights

When we start collaborating with clients, we take time to understand what’s going on for them, why they need a learning experience in this moment. We ask – why now, what challenge are they facing, who is the learning for, how do they want participants to feel afterwards, what should they have learned. We ask many questions because the more we understand, the better we can get to the heart of what matters, designing an experience that hits the mark and provides insight – about participants, about their team, about their work and about the organisation as a whole. Abracademy workshops are always fun, but the insights participants leave with are truly magical. Who needs a crystal ball!

Connect people

You’ve read this a thousand times – now more than ever, keeping colleagues connected is crucial. Whether it’s new joiners who have yet to meet their team or existing members who have gone adrift, making sure people know and understand one another will prevent a mind-blowing array of communication problems – doubts that become toxic, questions that never get answered, questions that shouldn’t need asking, only receiving feedback when something goes wrong, not knowing what anyone else is doing, not having the most recent updates. The list is long. We bring people together as colleagues and as human beings. Our personal lives can affect how we show up at work so if colleagues know each other well, they'll have more empathy for one another and be a stronger team. We enable connections between people that continue long after the workshops have finished.

Here’s some more resources on experience design you might find interesting:

Talk to us about the experiences we design! Contact Priya, our Head of Learning.

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