Oh, so you design experiences?

Try to explain to some what experience or interaction design is and watch the looks and questions you get. Design, to most people means graphic or web design--basically the obvious facets of visual design. You mention experience design, and it's as if you have pulled the plug to that little light bulb that goes off in their heads each time they think of design.

I recently had an experience with a particular individual. I was explaining to him what Human Computer Interaction consisted of and what User Experience (UX) design means. In the early phase of the conversation, he mentioned "What software program do you use?" I was puzzled for a second since I didn't really understand the context of the question. "What do you mean?" I replied. "Ummm, like what software do you use to design, ummm, experience and stuff?", he said. Of course this led to a conversation which consisted mainly of me trying to explain the UX field.