There is nothing like real experience is there?
The smell of freshly cut grass, the warm sun on your face…Our brains need stimulation and we enjoy experiences more when they address more of our senses. To truly experience something, our brain requires more than just one of our senses being stimulated out of five: Sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. Instead of just using one, researchers and designers have found ways to manipulate many senses at once.
Our brains combine senses in non-linear ways. One of such nonlinear multi-sensory interaction is superadditivity. The idea is that senses work together to deliver a combined and unique message to the customer. For example, the PIXAR intro. The jumping visual of the lamp is accompanied by the squeaky sound.
This is a case where two of the senses (sight, and sound) accompany each other. In this concept, it is important to highlight that senses should not be considered individually as they do not offer the same effect as a multisensory interaction.
A brain in its’ essence is a multisensory organ. Therefore, changing even one sensory attribute (sound, sight, taste…) of an experience, will affect the overall product experience! As the Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka puts it “The whole is different than the sum of the parts”.
In the context of modern experience design, standard LED screens and integrated laptop speakers are not designed to immerse our multisensory brain. With many online events and communications going virtual, audiences are now receiving content that struggles to compete with emails, standard web players and news articles. Whether we use 3D audio or visuals, simulated live audiences or interactive products and features, immersing an audience has never been more important. It’s critical that we find new ways to get online audiences engaged by bringing theatrical performances to the home offices of our audience.