If future interaction design is to take designing for experience seriously we must first understand more clearly what we mean by experience. We argue that the science-based disciplines usually associated with human-computer interaction may not be the best place to look for such theoretical foundations and that it may be time for human-computer interaction to look farther afield to the arts and humanities. We have turned towards the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey and the literary theory and philosophy of Mikhail Bakhtin as our starting point. In this chapter we lean on Bakhtin's analysis of the novel and felt life and use this to explore ways in which we can help designers engage with experience. Building on Bakhtin's analysis of creative understanding, we argue for a dialogical analysis of the relationship between designer and user. We conclude with one or two interesting examples of design work that seem to capture the spirit of this approach to design. © 2005 Springer-Verlag London Limited.