Do Your Customers Remember Their Experience?

Our memories are an important part of who we are and what we do. While events we experience in our lives act as the catalyst that shape who we are, our memories of these events that play the key role.

In his post “Memory Inception: Three Keys to Creating a Great User Experience for Your Product” Dmitry Dragilev talks about focusing on key moments of the experiences that embed themselves in your customer’s memory. He uses the analogy of a novel, just because someone enjoys a book they don’t remember every detail, only those that stand out. In the same way customer’s will not remember every detail of their experience with a product, just those that stand out.

“Everyone gets caught up thinking it’s user experience they need to worry about, but it’s what they remember about their experience that’s critical. Their memory is what they’ll project into the future.

It’s the last part of that quote that I think gets to the crux of the matter. A good user experience is important and beneficial to fulfilling a customer’s immediate goals. But, if that experience does not fit itself into the customer’s memory, unless those same goals arise again in the same context, your customer will not return to the product or talk about it to others. For e-commerce businesses where return customers and word of mouth marketing are so important, you must pay attention to those moments that could turn an ordinary experience into one that becomes a part of the customer’s memory.

Dragilev sets out 3 types of experiences which he says have the ability to transform  ordinary moments into ones that a customer will remember :

  1. Transitions – like plot twists in a story, the change from one sensation to another is recognized by the customer and forms a memory
  2. ‘WOW!’ Moments – pretty much self-explanatory, these are the experiences that really stand out, something new, something exciting, something unexpected but positive; customers look back on these moments when reflecting on their feelings about the product
  3. Endings – simply put, people will remember the way things ended, whether positive or negative

In the post, he gives examples for each of the types of experience. From these examples it appears that there is a lot of overlap between ‘Transitions’ and ‘WOW! Moments’, making that seem to be the same type of moments. That said, it doesn’t take away from the main point. Customers form memories of their experiences. These memories influence the success of the user experience. As Dragileve concludes:

“Like the author of  book, you are not just making a product or providing a good user experience, you are giving people a story that will plant memories, and those memories will drive their behavior in the future. Make sure they have good ones.”


  • People’s memories of events play a huge role in influencing their perception of the experience.
  • There are 3 types of events that tend to embed into your customer’s memories.
  • Focusing on these key events will help create a successful experience.
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