Mat Duerden received a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and an M.S. from Brigham Young University. His experience design research focuses on memorable, meaningful, and transformative experiences. Mat is an Associate Professor of Experience Design and Management and Alumni Research Fellow in BYU’s Marriott School of Business, and also teaches an honors program course, The Art of Transformative Storytelling. He works with organizations across a variety of sectors to provide training and consulting around experience design, and is also the co-author of the book Designing Experiences.

Mat currently serves on his stake high council and in the stake Young Men presidency. Previous callings include bishopric counselor, Young Men president, elders quorum president, and executive secretary. He and his wife Chenae have four children and their favorite experiences occur outdoors on bikes, rafts, and skis.

Mat Duerdon


01:45 Introduction to Mat Duerdon. He explains experience design.

11:15 How can leaders create an experience? What do you want people to say at the end of the experience?

23:30 When you are designing experiences in the church that doesn’t mean you have to create something new. Take what you have and tweak it.

26:30 There is a pressure on the bishopric to make everyone’s experiences great.

28:00 How to help the person that isn’t enjoying the experience of church or activities. What are their needs?

29:45 Mat shares an example of creating an experience for a ward or community. 59-minute service projects.

31:30 All experiences have three phases

  • An anticipation phase
  • A participation phase
  • A reflection phase

33:10 Good experiences ask for people’s attention at the right points and respectfully minimize the attention needed at different points.

33:30 The anticipation phase. Make sure the information for an activity is very clear and given in advance.

34:45 Are there ways that we can create an anticipation phase for a sacrament meeting?

40:00 Good experience design is 90% creating really smooth-running, ordinary experiences. Leaders shouldn’t be stressing out on doing huge things.

42:30 Start with just one thing that your ward or organization really needs to work on. It’s better to do one or two things great than a bunch of things poorly.

44:00 The participation phase. We should be thinking about what needs we are trying to meet. Does your activity meet a need?

46:00 The reflection phase. The phase where we are actually harvesting what we’ve been growing. This is the phase that is most often overlooked but vitally important.

50:30 How do we help others in the reflection phase?

  • Help them be a good storyteller. Retell their experience to someone.
  • Journal about the experience.
  • Make sure you follow up with them.

55:10 Remember that it’s not just about what people do when they walk through the door. Think about what happens before and what they do afterwards.

55:30 All experiences are co-created. The participants are in charge of how much they engage but as leaders we can think of ways to make it easier for people to engage in the ways that we want them to.

59:50 Reflect. We consume a lot of content and podcasts but very little of that content moves us to act. Transformative education is the future intentional use of that content. Are you going to use this content in your life? Write it down and act on it!


Designing Experiences
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