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Sal Bolaños
5 min readNov 2, 2018


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k. TY.

In a world of chaos, it’s nice to feel appreciated. Out of the four response lines above, which one came off the most sincere? Make a mental note.

Now ask yourself: “Which of those do I typically use when communicating — both in person and via digital — including e-mail, conversation and everyday messaging?”

As children we are taught to say “please” and “thank you,” and now as adults, if we don’t hear them it usually has a negative mental effect on us. The feelings of being unappreciated, under valued, taken advantaged of or just flat out ignored, come when politeness is overlooked. Saying, “thank you” will always be a sign of respect and a way to keep people coming back.

So why am I writing about “thank you’s” and retaining people’s emotions? It’s easy. Because our jobs depend on keeping your customers, users and shoppers happy. One of the easiest ways of doing that is by applying a great “Thank You Experience” (TYX).

The Power of Thank You

Usually a “thank you” occurs right after someone has helped another person out like opening a door, completing some type of task, purchasing a product, or engaging with some type of quiz, survey, or form.

Now, whether you get a “thank you” or not, from that person or thing is totally out of your control but we all know you are expecting one and if you do not get one, it stings a little bit just like we talked about earlier.

Go back to a time when you helped out a person and you did NOT receive a thank you. How did that make you feel?

Hurt? Shocked? Pissed? Didn’t care?

Whatever end-feeling you felt, I am sure you told yourself that you most likely would not be doing whatever you did for that person again or at least for a while. And, that’s okay. A lot of us think the same way and that doesn’t make a you a bad person but it shows what power the “TYX” has.

Applying the TYX in Digital

One of the hardest areas to really apply the TYX is in digital. From text messaging, to Slacking, Facebook Messaging, SnapChatting, talking to Alexa, or emailing, sometimes the only way to say “thank you” are through those applications which we all know is not easy especially since there are limited ways one can measure the level of authenticity and/or thoughtfulness.

With many companies moving toward a Human-First Centric approach, experience teams need to take into consideration all of the ways to say “thank you” to their customers and even employees. We are all user’s in this case and to assume our products or marketing plans can just be words vs scripts is where we need to be on our toes with how people respond to different styles of “thank you”.

The Simplified TYX Approach:

Step 1. Identify if your experience is digital or physical or both.

Depending on where the experience will take place can make the overall approach easier or more complex so take time to fully understand when, where, and who/what will be conducting the process.

Step 2. Based on the setting of your experience, map out what the user flow would be from start to finish.

Much like any new product design, you will want to understand each and every part of the process so you can clearly avoid and be prepared for any changes in the overall experience.

3. Optional, create yourself a story-board.

I highly recommend thinking in story-board format as it helps paint the script while still being at a lower-fidelity of prototyping.

4. After outlining what the flow is (and story board if you desire to), act it out with real live people. If your product is a digital product, use any prototyping software to test the flow.

Regardless of the setting (digital or physical) have one person watch as the user goes through your flow and capture notes on their facial expression, reactions, eye movement, change of tone, etc especially as you get to the TYX.

5. Once the TYX has taken place, elvauate how many different ways could the TYX had gone

This is your chance to either draw back the “Thankfulness”. Maybe you were a little too thankful…it happens so don’t worry about it. Or maybe this is a chance for you to add more thankfulness to the experience. Maybe you notice your thankfulness was a bit dry and didn’t have enough sauce to draw the user back for another time. Are there visual cues or confetti or music that plays when the TYX happens. The possibilities are endless but we do know one thing and that is if the customer is happy, chances are they will most likely come back and that my friends is called retainment.

If you’d like more information on this topic or would like to get in contact with me drop me a note at or visit my website at



Sal Bolaños

Sal Bolaños is a Creative & Design Director who specializes in Experience Design and Strategy. He currently is the Head of Design at TransUnion.