Brilliant Experience is a customer research and innovation studio. We are a group of cognitive psychologists, neuro-marketers, market researchers, and UX experts. We marry a deep understanding of your customers and future tech trends to drive your business goals forward. We're nimble, quickly conducting research and delivering actionable insights. Make your next move with confidence. Because brilliant experiences await. 


Our Philosophy

Brilliant thrives based on a set of core beliefs. This is our why: our raison d'etre. We find that our best clients are the ones who believe what we believe. So, if you're on board, contact us. We were made for each other.


Know your audience on a deeper level.

The vast majority of today's biggest business challenges can be solved by examining and building upon human cognition. That's why our expertise in cognitive psychology, neuro-marketing, and user experience is so valuable. Deep insight analysis to understand the 'why' behind your customers' behavior—this means helping you craft precisely the right experience at the right moment.

Design the system, not just the product.

Design-led companies always win. By design, we don't just mean the colors and logo: a strategically-crafted experience for you and your customers is non-negotiable for sustained success. Our structured practice of design thinking enables us to innovate early and often. Every touchpoint where your brand and customer meet is an opportunity for an experience. We help you map the holistic service you are aiming for.

Understand the trends of tomorrow.

We are an insatiably curious bunch. To identify customers needs of tomorrow, we have to understand the tech trends of the next 5-10 years. Next generation user experience is about bringing together customer needs and cutting-edge tech to craft new experiences that thrill your customers while meeting your business goals.  

Always do right by your customers.

Call us old-fashioned, but we truly believe that if you promise something to your customers, you have to deliver on it. If your website talks about your top-notch customer service, we shouldn't see expletives about your brand littering social media. We'll help close any gaps you have between your customers' experience in reality with the experience you want for them. 


We believe that the best way to discover your optimal experience is to do it with you. Experience design is often a journey, with a number of possible solutions. We get into your customers heads and find out what they need, but you know your organization. Our goal is to create an experience that's going to last—one that not only captivates your customers, but is also supported by your organization. Let's create winning experiences together. With Brillaint, we work with you to create deep, actionable insights that work—fast. 

Companies like Google, PayPal, Capital One, and more hire us again and again to: 








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Brilliant leaders

(if we do say so ourselves)

We are an agency of fearless thinkers, creators and builders. Our multidisciplinary group is made up of researchers, cognitive psychologists, anthropologists, UX/UI designers, brand strategists, and marketers. We explore, tinker, and find precisely what works for you and your customers. In a nutshell, we help you be brilliant.

John Whalen, Ph.D.

John Whalen is Founder and Principal at Brilliant Experience and author of Designing for How People Think: Using Brain Science to Build Better Products. While a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology helps him to dive deep into the minds of customers, it is John's unique blend of psychology, design thinking, and lean methodologies that delivers success to mission-critical innovation projects, time and again. Through psychographic profiles and market segmentation, John uncovers strategic insights and market opportunities for companies. For over 15 years, John has led product and service ideation, prototyping, and user testing, and continuous monitoring to determine how to use limited CX resources and build internal UX teams. His current research relates to experiences that employ machine learning, automation, and Artificial Intelligence. John is the VP of the UX Professional Association (UXPA) DC, and he speaks at conferences internationally including UXPA, Modev UX, and O'Reilly AI Conference.

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Sarah Weise, MBA

Sarah Weise is a Principal at Brilliant Experience and professional speaker. Sarah has crafted user-centered experiences for over 100 brands. She is passionate about delivering products that are captivating, magical, and radically intuitive. Sarah lectures at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business on digital marketing, experience strategy and UX for the next generation of customers. Sarah is also a co-founder of UX Masters Academy, which offers advanced User Experience (UX) and Service Design training and certifications. She has studied empathy with a former FBI hostage negotiator, and has over 250 hours of practice in high-stakes empathy as a listener at a suicide hotline. She also speaks at conferences worldwide including Content Marketing Conference, MozCon, Digital Summit, Internet Summit, UXPA International, and Sanoma's Get Tomorrow. She has been published in Journal of Digital Banking and Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing.

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