Designing Experiences Require a 360 Degree Process

So here I am in Hong Kong, sitting in my bath robe, and stuck indoors because of Typhoon Chanthu. As a result, I got an opportunity to reflect on my stay here at the Hyatt at Sha Tin. It was quite comfortable and the room service was tasty. However the total experience was not, in my mind, up to a 5 star standard. Perhaps I’m being nit-picky, but there were a few things that just did not add up.
1) A dip in the bed – I got a room with 2 single beds, and it was obvious which bed was the one more frequently used as there was an annoying sunken dip in the middle of the mattress. I’m not sure if house keeping was flipping the mattress in a timely manner.
2) The closet was difficult to open – It has a really nice seemless door design that, being flushed with the wall, was hell to use. I could imaging ladies breaking nails trying to pry the closet doors open. The stiff rollers did not help.
3) House keeping leaves a new clean cup the right side up on the counter top.
4) The shower does not drain properly – I’m drying up in about 2cm deep soapy water.
5) The shower door handle cum towel rack is too low – the bath towel I hang on it brushes the floor. Annoying especially if the floor is wet after a shower.
6) Waste bins are not cleared.
7) Complementary tea bags not refilled.
8) Daily newspaper was not delivered, but eventually turned up after 3 reminders.
9) Air condition vents directly facing the study table where I’m writing this post.
Update: 10) Killed a cockroach in the toilet at 12.16am.
As you can see, on its own, each of these points are not major problems. However when added together these small “irritation points” becomes big enough to impact the total experience. It does not really matter if it is a product or a service, experience design is tough as it requires a 360 degree holistic process when resolving the problem. Not only that, you need an attention to details and a deep understanding what motivates a consumer and what is important to them.

3 Comments
  • Joeri

    July 23, 2010 at 9:58 pm Reply

    360 design behaviour is an absolute must to achieve proper customer experience. Look at IKEA, or BMW for example. i totally agree with your statements.However, Hyatt might be able to correct all this doing something with your comments. In the end, what you feel and communicate, they can influence. in this case a service, but the holisic principles remain. Design should be embedded in the whole organization, from housekeeping to management.
    and, if Hyatt HKG fails, may I suggest Harbour Plaza in Whampoa for cheaper but much better treatment, or Royal Garden in Tsim Tsa Shui. lol

  • DT

    July 24, 2010 at 12:13 am Reply

    Hi Joeri, indeed, my point exactly, creating a great experience takes a lot of work, and the team at Hyatt just missed the mark. The reality though it is a mindset, getting the right mindset is the key.
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.

  • Eduardo

    July 25, 2010 at 9:56 pm Reply

    “Design should be embedded in the whole organization…”
    I disagree. Design is just part of the equation, the experience is what should be the focus here. I agree that in order to create a great experience you’ll need some serious design thinking; but to me, the will to create it comes from the companies values and culture.

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