Experience Design (aka XD or ED) is a field of design that focuses on the creating the broader experience of using a product/service/space/process, rather than narrowly focusing on its functional features.
To witness the power of Experience Design in retail, walk into an Apple Store. The shopping experience is impeccably consistent with the product experience (using a Mac): intuitive, beautiful, thoughtful, simple, and approachable.
The brand becomes a friend as you check your own Facebook account on one of their open laptops, or the eyebrow-pierced Mac Genius helps you upload your iPhoto pics to Flickr, then allows you to avoid waiting in line by running your credit card purchase right where you are standing using handheld wireless register.
Another element of Experience Design in shopping is the burden of choice experienced by the shopper. Read more about the Trader Joe’s Retail Experience and the Paradox of Choice at a new blog I just launched with Ellen Beldner called Getting Design Done.