What can a cozy guest house teach you about experience design?
What’s experience design about?
When planning a trip, choosing a nice and cozy place to stay is almost as equally important as choosing which country to visit.
There is a good reason for that. Staying at a dirty, smelly and dingy hostel full of drunk people and rude staff can easily ruin your whole trip. Yet It doesn’t mean 5 star hotels with spa is the only way to go.
Sometimes a cozy guest house is what you really need to enhance your travel experience. Excellent hospitality and services offered at a friendly guest house have so much to tell you about designing superb human experiences.
Research is Vital
Guest houses are usually smaller than conventional hotels. In best rated guest houses, small but dedicated staff are always there to answer the unique needs of their guests. Things get personal but not too personal. They endeavour to know your specific needs – like your favourite food and allergies. Some might even do a bit of research (but not in a creepy way) on your interests and preferences so that your stay will be more bespoke.
For example they might ask your favourite books so that they can get some books based on your interest ready at your room.
User research is the basic for almost everything – from managing luxury hotels, web design to branding. Depend on who you are selling to, your brand needs to adapt accordingly to reflect the expectations and behaviours of your customers.
Details, Details and More Details
Close attention to details is the key to every successful service. Why? Because ‘‘small details can set a brand apart from the competition’’ (UX Magazine).
The smell of flowers at the lobby and the sound of your room door makes when it closes – every moment you experience at a high-quality guesthouse is made of small – but crucial – details. The names and logos are not enough to create such unique moments.
For UX designers, small details are also the key to develop an excellent user-focused website. Booking.com’s use of social proof is just one of the examples of careful considerations and small details to enhance user experience.
Keep it simple
Japanese traditional guesthouses are nothing but a simple and clean design, like tatami (reed floor matting), low-wooden tables, flower vases and hanging scrolls.
Their modest design ideas are to eliminate all the noises and stresses of the outside world, while creating the space of comfort and relaxation instead.
Just like that, today’s experience design in the digital world is also “focusing on simplicity and clarity to ease functionality and emphasize usability” (GFK).
Create Positive Memories
This should be the ultimate goal of great user experience. For a guest house, it is about creating positive memories that encourage them to repeat the experience and spread the words. And small details do make significant impacts on the user experiences.
For an eCommerce site, it is also about turning experiences into positive memories that make the users want to come back again.
What do you think?
Appnova is a digital agency specializing in web design, UX, eCommerce, branding, digital marketing and social media.
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Source: Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr
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