How to create immersive experiences that wow.

Attention spans are shrinking, so how can you truly captivate your audience? The answer lies in designing unforgettable immersive experiences that create a lasting impact. From entertainment giants, such as Disney, creating magical adventures within their theme parks, to leading tech companies, such as Apple and Meta (formerly Facebook), investing in immersive technologies to enable never before seen digital experiences. Businesses across all industries are continuously discovering and developing innovative ways to create deeper connections with their audiences. But how can you get started? In this blog we will be giving you 5 essentials to elevate your immersive experience design!

Step into the future.

In today’s fast-paced world, immersive experiences have become the holy grail of customer engagement. These experiences are designed to ‘immerse’ you into the ongoing activity or form of entertainment through fully engaging the senses. As we journey closer to the future with concepts such as the metaverse, extended reality and haptics, the ability to design truly immersive experiences is becoming more important than ever. These emerging and innovative technologies enable us to transport to seemingly new dimensions and blur the line between what is real and what is virtual.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind when designing your next immersive experience:

1. What’s the point?

Before you dive into the creative aspects, it is crucial to define your purpose. What message or emotion do you want your audience to take away from your experience? Defining your purpose will act as your guiding light in the design process. Whether it is to educate, inspire change, or purely for entertainment, a clear purpose ensures that your immersive experience is meaningful and resonates with your audience.

“Every great design begins with an even better story.”

— Lorinda Mamo, Designer / Creative Director

2. The heart of immersive experiences.

Have you ever been so sucked into a movie and felt the tears welling up? That’s the magic of storytelling. At the heart of an immersive experience lies storytelling, connecting the dots of all individual components involved. Create a story that tugs at their heartstrings and ignites their curiosity. Infuse mystery and surprise to keep them on the edge of their seats. Make it personal by allowing your audience to see themselves in the story, creating a connection that they can carry with them after the experience ends. Immersive storytelling should transport the audience right into the thick of things. It is not just watching; it is living the story. You are not a spectator; you are the main star.

3. Creating wonders for the senses.

Take your experience to the next level by immersing your audience in a sensorial journey. Picture your audience navigating a landscape of sensations: vibrant visuals, powerful scents, mouthwatering tastes, melodies of sound and satisfying textures. Design an environment where every sense is stimulated, fully submerging your audience in its wonders.

The Walt Disney Company is a great example of this. In all their theme parks they engage the five senses to create a truly immersive experience. From the stunning visuals of Main Street’s colorful buildings to the fantastic animatronics on the rides, there’s always something amazing to see. The park’s music and sound effects transport you to different world – think of Wild West train whistles or fairy tale melodies. But it doesn't stop there; Disneyland even uses scents to immerse you, like the aroma of popcorn on Main Street or the piney fragrance on Big Thunder Mountain. And let's not forget the taste buds - from classic churros to unique Dole Whip treats, your taste buds are in for a treat. Plus, there are interactive elements to touch and feel, like pulling levers on the Indiana Jones Adventure ride or getting misted by the Grizzly River Run waterfalls.

"Walt himself believed that technology really was the key to making these stories come alive to create truly lasting, meaningful connections with his audience and turning storytelling into an experience."

- Bob Chapek, former CEO, The Walt Disney Company.

4. Fusing realities with tech magic.

Modern technology is your best friend when designing your immersive experience; it is your biggest enabler to make your wildest dreams come true. The technologies making this possible are also known as ‘Immersive technologies’. Let’s dive into some examples and explore how to they can cater to our senses:

We will start with the two most common senses that applications have been build for; visual and sound. This includes technologies underneath the umbrella term ‘Extended Reality’ such as Virtual Reality (VR); technology that replaces the user physical environment with a digital one, Augmented Reality (AR); technology that acts as a digital overlay over the physical environment, and Mixed Reality (MR); a hybrid technology combining both VR and AR. Devices created around these capabilities generally combine visual, sound and haptic technologies into one.

With the right visual and sound design capabilities, these technologies can take your immersive experiences to the next level.

Can you feel that?

From the three left over senses, the one that is furthest in development is touch. Through haptics, technologies that make use of force, vibrations, heat or motion, you can engage the tactile senses of your audience. A simple example of this are the vibrations of your mobile phone, alerting you when you receive a message or an incoming call, or vibrations within a gaming controller, triggering when the user hits an object in a game.

A company making great strives with this technology is Sensit; a company giving their customers the ability to enhance their products with their haptic sensation. Check out their innovative solutions in the gaming, automotive and entertainment industries:

But, this technology also has potential to elevate your business’s practices, such as virtual reality training. Take haptx as an example, a technology company that builds haptic gloves for a virtual reality and robotics. They believe that “people learn best by doing” and with their haptic gloves they can enhance this experience by allowing users to grip virtual objects and experience that sensation as if it were real. Check out their exciting cases here:

Mmm.. that smells good!

Have you ever walked into a store and had the smell of their products hit your face? If so, it is likely that you have been subject to the store’s attempt at creating an immersive retail experience. Take Rituals as an example, the Dutch luxury brand combining home and body products. When walking past their store, you are instantly hit with an aroma of different smells incentivising you to come in. And, once you have entered the store, the scents are intensified allowing you to experience their brand. Naturally, the products available in the store would already create a fragrant experience, but with the help of smell technology, also known as olfactory technology, they can truly immerse their customers and give them a taste of what they have to offer.

"Taste the feeling."

Speaking of taste, this sense can simply be used to let your audience eat certain things to easily convey certain aspects of your brand and story. Think of experiences such as a wine tasting that let’s you indulge in the variety they have to offer, or a culture fair that let’s you taste small bits of national dishes. These examples are quite practical, but lickable and taste bud enhancing technologies are being developed to digitally integrate taste in your experiences.

Technology is the glue that brings your narrative and sensory elements together to make it one. While not all technologies can currently be used to enhance your experiences, it does shape an exciting vision of the future where all the senses can be engaged.

Here are 3 recent examples of these technologies in action:

AR Lights Up '23 Games

Besides being a great example of an immersive experience, the Asian games ’23 opening ceremony used AR technology to visualise a giant man lighting the ceremonial flame.


Siemens' VR Employee Boost

Check out Siemens' innovative approach to leveraging VR technology enriching employee experiences and achieving their EHS (Environmental, Health, and Safety) objectives.


Let’s play virtual Legos

With the release of Meta’s new Mixed Reality headset come new features and exciting experiences. The Meta Quest 3 let’s you play with virtual Legos in your real living room.

5. Be unique, creative and add value.

In a world with repetitive experiences, the unique and unexpected stand out. Dare to break free from conventions and offer something that genuinely adds value to your audience's lives. A truly immersive experience leaves a lasting impact, enriching the lives of those who partake in it. So, let your creativity soar, infusing your immersive adventure with elements that resonate and endure in the minds and hearts of your audience!

It's up to you!

Now that you are equipped with the 5 essentials of immersive experience design, it's time for you to take action. Keep in mind that this will take a lot of time and effort, but if executed correctly, you will leave you audience in awe. We have included a bunch of examples throughout this blog to give you a head start for your creative exploration.

To help you easily keep track of the essential items and help you design your next killer experience, we have designed an 'immersive experience checklist'. Let's put your new found knowledge to use and jump right into the design process!

Grab your checklist here.

not seen enough? Explore some more experiences that will blow-your-mind:

The Sphere in Las Vegas

Discover the magic at Vegas' Sphere! A hub of modernity, its immersive shows and high-tech allure redefine entertainment, crafting unforgettable nights.


The future of home media

Dive into magic with Disney+ on Apple Vision Pro! Immerse in stories like never before, as each tale leaps to life, surrounding you in wonder.


11 room Dopamine Land

Dive into Dopamine Land, an 11-room multisensory haven! Each room is a ticket to a unique realm, inviting you to touch, see, and feel the magic.

Ready to immerse yourself in experience design?

Meet Matthijs, he is our digital dare devil.