Brilliant Experience is a customer research and innovation studio. As secret advisors to organizations who need to stand out from the crowd, we marry a deep understanding of your customers and future tech trends with your business goals. We're nimble, quickly conducting research and delivering actionable insights so you can make your next move with confidence. Go ahead: be brilliant. Because better 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.


Design-led companies will always win.

We believe that design is a competitive lever for businesses of the future. 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. We're nimble, quickly deriving actionable insights so you can make your next move with confidence. 

You have to know your audience.

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 psychology and user experience is so valuable. Deep insight analysis to understand the ‘why’ behind your customers' behavior can help you craft the right experience at the right moment.

Design the system, not just the product.

It's never just a website, just an app, just a product. Every touchpoint where your brand and customer meet is an opportunity for an experience. Our service design capability brings your concept to life. That means helping to navigate roadblocks in your organization and making your end-to-end expereince sing.


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. 

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.  

Come with us on this journey.

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.


Brilliant stands out because with us, you'll get deep, actionable insights from your target audiences - fast. We understand not only your customers, but also your business. That means we go in knowing exactly what to look for, what to prod at, and what you're interested in. Companies consistently hire us for four key reasons: 









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 has a keen ability to identify strategic insights and market opportunities for companies. For over 15 years, John has led product and service ideation, prototyping, and user testing, often providing continuous monitoring to determine how to use limited CX resources and helping to build internal User Experience teams. His current research relates to experiences that employ machine learning, automation, and Artificial Intelligence. John is the VP of the UX Professional Association in 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 co-founder of UX Masters Academy, which offers advanced User Experience (UX) and Service Design training and certifications. Over the course of her career, Sarah has crafted user-centered experiences for over 100 brands. She is passionate about delivering products that are captivating, magical, and radically intuitive – products that people not only can use, but also will use. Sarah lectures at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business on digital marketing, experience strategy and next generation UX. 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 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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