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Service design strategies for customization: implications of conflicting emotions and concerns

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conference contribution
posted on 2012-09-17, 14:22 authored by Kathy Lo
This paper examines conflicting emotions and concerns in hotel stay experiences, their implications and emotion-oriented strategies for customization of hotel features and service. Luxury vs eco-friendliness, exploration vs familiarity, enjoyment vs cost, novelty vs practicality are the most common conflicting concerns. Their implications are discussed under the wider context of sustainability, economic austerity and long-term growth of tourism. Conflicting emotions often arise because some hotel features and service are out of hotel guests' control. Increasingly, hotels are offering guests more control through customization. The model of emotion-oriented customization strategies for hotels is proposed to shed light on three broad types of hotel customization strategies that evoke calculative emotions, explorative emotions and pleasant surprises. Design emphases shift from functional, sensorial, to meaning-oriented as the nature of service changes from transactional to relational. Real-world examples in the hotel industry demonstrate the application of the strategies. Notes: This paper contributes significant knowledge that expands the scope of emotional design beyond products to service and experience. Its value also lies in clarifying the relationships between hotel customization strategies, design emphases, intended emotional outcomes and the nature of service design. The significance of this paper’s contribution is highlighted in the reviewers’ comments: “This well-written and interesting paper makes a significant contribution to both the service literature and the design and emotion literature… I have no criticisms about this paper. I think it will make a wonderful addition to the conference, and its findings can be taken up by researchers and designers in interaction, product and service design, and human-computer interaction.” More specifically, this paper examines mixed emotions and conflicting concerns in hotel stay experiences. Luxury vs eco-friendliness, enjoyment vs cost, exploration vs familiarity, novelty vs practicality are four pairs of highlighted conflicting concerns. In addition to explaining appraisal patterns of conflicting emotions from the hotel guests’ point of view, this paper also proposed a model of emotion-oriented customization strategies for hotels to shed light on the current customization strategies. The model explains how these strategies resolve conflicting concerns, evoke different types of pleasant emotions and improve guest experience. Real examples in the hotel industry demonstrate practical application of the strategies. The Design and Emotion Conference is the most significant international conference in the field of emotion-oriented design. Held every other year and in its 16th year of running, it has become a significant research outlet for emotional design and has been accelerating a growing interest in this research area. The paper is published as conference proceedings accessible through Design & Emotion Society’s website and the British Library.



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LO, K.P.Y., 2012. Service design strategies for customization: implications of conflicting emotions and concerns. IN: Brassett, J. ... et al (eds.). Proceedings of 8th International Design and Emotion Conference, 11-14th September 2012, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London, United Kingdom, 9 pp.


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