Inspirations for Tourist Explorations M A JOR PROJEC T DESICN RESEARCH REPORT JENNY CHAN//NOV 2011
1.0 Introduction 1.1 Report Summary 1.2 Background 1.3 Areas of Research 1.4 Aim of Research
5 6 8 15 17
2.0 Research Methods 2.1 Primary Research 2.2 Secondary Research
19 20 23
3.0 Research Findings & Analysis 3.1 Tourist Decision-Making and Planning 3.2 Tourist Experiences 3.3 Impact of Technology on Tourists 3.4 Research Conclusion
25 26 43 47 50
4.0 Design Process 4.1 Concept Generation 4.2 Concept Development 4.3 Branding 4.4 User Testing and Feedback 4.5 Design Outcome
53 54 60 70 73 76
5.0 Project Conclusions
1.1 Report Summary 06 1.2 Background 08 1.3 Areas of Research 15 1.4 Aims of Research 17
1.1 Report Summary This report paper will be documenting the research and development work in the areas of Tourist Motivations and Behaviours and Tourist Experience within the contexts of Cultural Tourism and Tourism Technology. The research looks at the context of Cultural Tourism and its impact and connections with Globalisation in general, how this relates to Tourist Technology development and vice versa, as well as the overall impact on tourist behaviours and choices. The study focuses primarily on central London, due to time and resource constraints, as well as the city being a typical and established icon for Cultural Tourism. A variety of research methodologies employed to conduct the research are divided into two categories: Primary Research which includes, semi-structured and expert interviews, surveys, and observational research; and Secondary Research which includes reviewing existing literature and reports. The finding reveals a repetition in consumption methods, the important factors of pre- and post-trip encounters which relates closely to tourist experiences during the trip, and the connection between spontaneity, serendipity and authenticity in tourist journeys and itinerary planning (or lack of). These findings are shown to be results of a lack of innovative and creative development in communicating and promoting
// 1.0 Introduction
city destinations by the tourism industries in the West and the increasingly sophisticated consumption demands and independent nature of tourist behaviours. The Design Process presents the conceptualisation and development process by the use of Design Methods such as personas and user profiles, service matrixes, visualisations, storyboarding and rough prototyping to develop the ideas. An iterative design process was employed to solidify design of primary service touchpoints for User Testing and final revisions. The final design outcome will be a service proposal which documents a service journey, the design of the Toolkit as a major service touch-point, and the web site. The report concludes with the evaluation on the project outcome as an attempt to challenge the current practices of tourists to become more conscious of the local cultures and places and the recommendations for more in-depth testing with a larger sample of potential users to observe how they would actually use the Tools and the service and whether their perceptions of travelling or the destination would change.
// 1.0 Introduction
1.2.1 Personal Premise The initial project proposal was formed from my concern for the diminishing local cultural distinctiveness of Hong Kong - a global city I have grown up in. To engage tourists, the city have been heavily promoting consumption of tax-free goods in mega-size shopping malls, and for a long time have been neglecting its local culture and heritage development. This resulted in a narrow perception of the city being considered lacking in cultural characteristics, even in the minds of the local people who have at the same time grown to detach from their local cultural heritage. Thus with the opportunity of the project, I was hoping to take the project outcome based in London to develop an adaptable model that could be applied to Hong Kong in the future. The idea for the project however, was stemmed from my personal interest in travelling and learning about other cultures and the conflicts of an occurring sense of “numbness” in tourist experiences with my increase of visits to city destinations. This “numbness” described a feeling of familiarity in tourist activities and behaviours which at times decreases my excitement and enthusiasm in visiting and adds to the momentary frustrations of feeling uninspired and mentally exhausted from the compulsion to continue the journey. These past experiences have motivated the investigation into two questions that I wanted to answer in this project: How to gain the most while being a tourist? What is the most important thing about travelling and visiting other cultures and places? To answer these questions, project research was first established from an understanding of the current issues of Cultural Tourism, especially the impact on tourists and local cultures.
// 1.0 Introduction
1.2.2 Cultural Tourism and Globalisation What is Cultural Tourism? In the simplest sense, Cultural Tourism is about the consumption of cultural experiences and products as a tourist. According to Richards, it is the form of “quality tourism” that local and national organisations embrace to develop tourism that “cares” for the local cultures while expanding the tourists’ cultural knowledge through their consumption (2007, p.1) In a more descriptive way of defining the concept, Visit Britain - the tourism authority of Great Britain, have stated what constitute Cultural Tourism in much more precise terms:
“[Cultural Tourism] encompasses visits to enjoy visual and performing arts, museums, galleries, heritage attractions, artists’ open studios, art fairs, auctions, public art and architecture, festivals, films and other cultural events... Cultural Tourists want to enjoy exhibitions and performances, to sample local food and learn about local customs, to enjoy the atmosphere of a place and to learn something. They enjoy experiences that fire their imagination or offer a chance to connect with the past.” (Visit Britain, 2005) In both definitions, Cultural Tourism have an important role to play in promoting and preserving the distinctive qualities of a destination for visitors to appreciate. These qualities are embedded within the cultures of places, which also signify the meanings and perceptions of the people that formed the places (Murray, 2001). Thus, as observed by Richard and Wilson, culture became an “essential element of the tourism system” upon which the tourism industries develop their services as well as the creation of place imagery (2005). It is therefore essential to realise the significance of distinctiveness in cultures or the “cultural competitiveness” (Richard and Wilson, 2005) to make one place stand out from another. This is especially important for city destinations as there is a vast increase in competition to attract tourists nowadays, especially with increasing mobility of people and the growing sophistication in tourist demands. However, as Cultural Tourism becomes more globalised, destinations are also transforming into “global” places. (Richards, 2007).
Globalisation and Cultural Distinctiveness The issues of globlisation within the context of Cultural Tourism is that it flattens out the distinctiveness and diversities between places. Although diversity is often created from the globalising processes in places, rapid global development that lacks sensitivity to local cultures often lead to the creation
of less characteristic places. Diversities became similar commodities as cities build more global icons and offerings that were similar to other places (Richards, 2007). As Smith (2007) argued, local cultures and heritage defined the distinctiveness of different cities. As tourism concerns the movements and consumption of visitors from “other” cultures, places are often considered “on performance” to a large multinational audiences (Urry, 2007). The competition to attract global audiences in order to raise a place’s status to a “global stage”, has further facilitated the transforming of destinations towards becoming a unifying global culture and thus creating less distinctive places, or creating placelessness (Richards, 2007; Smith, 2007). Cities are losing their local cultural distinctiveness as a result of the influence of globalisation. Large cities, such as New York, London and Paris, are becoming more similar in terms of their cultural offerings as they all have great art galleries, museums, art and creative hubs, waterfront, bridges, modern architecture, theatre shows and vibrant nightlife. Due to globalisation, the cities have transformed themselves into international city with everything from around the world within it. In a way, visiting these cities can now feel like “it could be anywhere”. As the local community conform to the city’s globalising development, it is also diminishing the city’s uniqueness. It is not to say that physically, cities are looking the same, but that they are feeling like another city, what Smith described as “placelessness” which is defined as the “intangible response to one’s immediate environment (2007, p99). To counter the globalisation process tourism has in places, place-marketing and place-branding strategies were utilised to differentiate cultural offerings of one place from another. However, as Richard and Wilson observed, such strategies were often appropriated from other successful cases, and that eventually the methods and ideas of implementation are starting to converge (2005). Murray, in his research on existing place-marketing, observes that despite the effort made to promote cities as distinctive, the current marketing methods employed often reflect the destination as culturally homogenous, with all kinds of facilities and attractions similar to other destinations and a typical approach in glorifying the past (2001). Such an emphasis, without being balanced with drawing reference to the contemporary cultures existing, could have a stagnant or backward affect on the development of the local community and culture. As Schouten argued, “Culture is a dynamic pattern and when it is forced into a static pattern it will cease to be a source of inspiration (2007).” The affect of using generic strategies that lacks sensitivity in the cultural diversities of places may further weakens the visitors’ “sense of place” and eventually reducing the competition of places.
10 // 1.0 Introduction
Not only do the visitors feel a diminished sense of place under the impact of globalisation but the local community’s perception of their own place will also be affected by diminishing uniqueness of cities. Several authors, such as Murray and Urry have noted the existing relationships between local communities and places (Murray, 2001 and Urry, 2007). Culture is not just about the past, distinguishable customs, heritage or cultural practices, but a living culture that is constantly in development - that is where local people play a vital role to sustain these cultures. The changing landscape of their environment to become more “global”, constantly disrupt the cultural meanings and bonds that had been defining contemporary lives of the inhabitants. Sensitivity in supporting local cultures can be helpful to rediscovering or re-creating cultural distinctiveness of cities that encourages developmental growth and sustaining the essence of the existing cultures which define the places.
1.2.4 Tourism Technology Tourism Technology is an encompassing term coined by the Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO)which includes all “social, cultural, managerial skills and value-adding activities of the tourism industry required to develop the travel and tourism industry...covering tangible and intangible knowledge and knowhow used to add to the value of tourism products on a micro level and the management of value chains of the travel and tourism industry on a macro level (KTO, 2006).” Yet until now, the term is often limited to the application of information communication technology (ICT) within areas of information exchange, reducing labour costs and easing transaction processes for the tourism sector (Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003). The technology and innovation that is relevant to this project are concern with those that have a direct influence on people’s understanding and conception of the place and space of a destination, at both the knowledge and experiential-level. There would a direct interaction between the tourist and the technology involved and can be present in any part of the entire tourist experience. Technologies have enabled a structural and organisational change in the service sector where product customisation becomes a common and important feature in different kinds of service industry, including Tourism (Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003). The increase of knowledge and options have contributed to the amount of sophistication in personal taste and preferences in the choice of destination. This further increases the competition among cities and nations to attract more tourists. Tourists are empowered with the expanded travel knowledge and the ability to customise
their own travel experiences and this has in affect facilitated the production of more diversified cultural experiences and products. Gretzel however, argued that although tourists are empowered by the assess to vast amount of information and intelligent technologies which help them make better informed choices, the interactivity with technology also transform the state of mind of the users (2011, p762). As technology can be designed to understand the tourists, so do tourists learn from and about the technology (Gretzel, 2011). Tourism technology is not only concern with development in intelligent or digital platforms that matters during the pre-trip period of the tourist experience but also concerns those that is crucial during a trip. Existing geographical technology such as guidebooks, maps and GPS, are also essential tourism technology that are integral in todayâ€™s tourist experience and the way people use them have a determining effect on the entire experience and understanding of cultures. (Brown, 2002). One potential already realised, is the possibility of integrating tourism technology with the ideas of knowledge-creation already enabled by existing technologies such as mobile applications, social media and travel information sites and forums, to create experience-centred cultural tourism that is specific to the destination (Barry, 2003; Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003). Innovations that commoditise and differentiate service experience is becoming more popular in recent Tourism development. Similar to the affect of globalisation, the availability of a vast and diverse range of cultural tourist services and products have resulted in the need to differentiate them from each other. Tourists are empowered as mentioned above, by the availability of a vast amount of travel information and consumption options which have intensified the competition between places. For the purpose of differentiation, the Experience of using or encountering the tourism services, has become a central attribute in creating innovative strategies, products and processes in the tourism sector for need to distinguish one service from another (Hjalager, 2010; Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003). The value of experience as an integral attribute in cultural tourism production and consumption is a relatively recent concept that has been explored by academics such as Pine II and Gilmore (1998, cited Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003, p38). By utilising experience-based strategies, the product and service content generated will become more user-oriented and destination-specific which in affect would become â€œless replicableâ€? assets (Stamboulis and Skayannis, 2003, p42). The use of experience as a medium to induce a sense of cultural distinctiveness can be made possible by designing and introducing new tourism technology that intervenes with current tourist journeys.
12 // 1.0 Introduction
The use of tourism technology is influencing tourists’ perceptions but to understand how it is affecting the tourists and in what way, will require the study of tourists motivations, decision-making and behaviours within the whole tourist journey experience.
1.2.5 Tourism and London Research on tourists behaviours and motivations cannot be isolated from the greater tourism systems within which they are compulsory to operate. Since research carried out with tourists are visiting London, it is essential to grasp the existing picture of Tourism in London to understand how, if at all, the nexus of tourism systems are affecting human perceptions and behaviours. London has an extensive support and strategic planning in maintaining a well-rounded visitor/tourist services throughout the city. Indeed, as often boasted to be one of the most cultural global city in the world, London has both strong heritage and cultural offerings that have attracted 15 million overseas visits and 11 million domestic visits in 2008 (London Tourism Action Plan 2009-2013). London Tourism is also vital to the rest of the country’s tourism development as the city serves as the primary gateway to other parts of the country. At the same time, London is also filled with urban development projects that is already transforming its landscapes for the upand-coming 2012 Olympics. The tourism infrastructure implemented for the communication of the city’s landscape and cultural offerings is available to most part of the city. All kinds of maps are available in most of the central parts of the city at strategic locations. Information centres are also filled with free materials which include maps, city guides, area guides, and events calendar of the month and so on. The sufficiency of the infrastructure corresponds to the development strategy that was stated in the London Tourism Action Plan 2009-2013, which identifies one of the key themes as the delivery of “a quality visitor experience” where one of the main area of activity is to support and provide “reliable” “dedicated” and “high-quality” visitor information at the key visitor touchpoints and “utilise innovative delivery methods where appropriate”. In this aspect, the tourism strategies implemented can be considered fairly effective and is beneficial in promoting the vast cultural offerings to the unsuspecting tourists. An increase in the domestic tourism market in London suggests that more attention in development should also be given to attract domestic citizens.
According to the London Tourism Action Plan 2009-2013, due to recent economic setback, there have been a 4% decline in overseas visits from 15.3 million visits in 2007, to 14.7 million visits in 2008. But have seen a 11% increase in domestic visitors, from10.1 million visits in 2007 to 11.3 million in 2008. In the London Visitor Survey Annual Report 2008 by TNS Travel and Tourism, 46% of surveyed oversea visitors were first time visitors to London. While 48% of domestic overnight visitors of London and 52% of day visitors of London have been to the capital over ten times in the past five years. In the same report, statistics show that more males (about 60%) visited London than females in 2008 (40%) and that 57% of all visitors in the sample were relatively young at between 16-35 years of age. Unsurprisingly, heritage and history is the main influence for decisions on visiting London in the TNS Visitor Survey, with museums and galleries being the second most influential factor among overseas visitor, while Londonâ€™s culinary offerings is the next most influential factor among domestic visitors. London is rated fairly highly in for the overall satisfaction of visitors where 71% of visitors have either rated the city as excellent or very good place to visit. Despite Londonâ€™s reputation as a great destination for cultural tourism, there is a lack of qualitative study on how London tourists experience the city. In the London Visitor Survey Annual Report 2008, 34% of overseas tourists have returned to London 2-5 times, and that two thirds of overall visitors have stated to return to London for another time. Such a high return rate of visitors maybe attributed to the existing offerings that the city has or in the way the city has satisfied expectations that were formed by the preconceptions about London. It is also in the interests of the research conducted to reveal how preconceptions and expectations of a place are formed, and the affect it has on the tourist should the experience fulfil these expectations, otherwise.
14 // 1.0 Introduction
Areas of Research
Various research methodologies have been employed to understand what tourists do, think and the reasons behind. The research findings has been divided into the four following areas:
Tourist Decision-Making and Planning Factors This is the study on decision-making and planning by tourists to identify all the concerns and issues that are essential for considerations. This involves understanding of all the practices and processes tourists go through from when they conceive the idea of which destination to go, to their preparations and the actual experience of the trip; as well as understanding the factors that are impacting on their tourist interactions and behaviours. It also looks at how people make decisions and plans, through understanding the social, cultural, and circumstantial factors in those decisions in the specific situation. Finally it seeks to identify the actions, frustrations and enjoyment in their journeys to capture the intangible and emotional elements that have an affect tourists.
Experiencing Places and Cultures The research carried out aim to identify what makes a meaning experience of a place or culture to people. This includes investigation of how people connect with these places and the types of experiences that are especially valued by tourists during their trip. As Crouch (2002, p.207-208) has proposed, that â€œtourism [is] mediated by our bodies in an animation of space that combines feeling, imagination and sensuous and expressive qualitiesâ€? and that â€œknowledge is constructed through encounters, and space is important in informing this // 15
knowledgeâ€? as it is â€œinscribedâ€? with meanings. An understanding of the role past experience plays in determining pre-trip and post-trip decisions is also carried out for analysing the way it influences tourist behaviours, perceptions and motivations.
Technology and Tourism This concerns the study of the emotional and experiential influences technology has on tourists especially the relation these influences has on the way tourist make decisions, and perceive a place. The research identifies the diversity in options and travel opportunities that the technology provide in Tourism, the role it plays within the tourist journey, and its impact on tourist experiences and decisions. and development. Bankside was chosen as it is one of the new tourist area of London that has flourished merely for past 15 years, and that it is famous for its cultural offerings such as the world-famous Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, the Borough Market, and the Clink Prison Museum, and the string of restaurants, pubs and cafes and other iconic development along the Thames. Whether there is any discrepancy between the locals perspective and the place-marketing.
1.4 Research Aim
The aim of conducting the research is explore ways of creating and introducing prompts and interventions which enhance the sense of cultural distinctiveness and experiences of the destination
2.1 Primary Research 20 2.2 Secondary Research 23
2.1 Primary Research 2.1.1 Observational Research The purpose of this research is to observe how tourists interact with and around the tourism technology they are using and also their practices and behaviours at cultural attractions. Notes, photographs and videos are media used to record their behaviours. An approximately one hour of observational research is being conducted each at different locations: Trafalgar Square and the British Museum, which are chosen for the high density of tourist flows and clusters as well as the cultural heritage of these sites implying that tourists interviewed will have at least a certain level of interested in cultures or cultural places. 2.1.2 Semi-Structured Interviews Semi-structured interviews with London tourists were carried out to gather information on how independent tourists plan and make decisions as they are visiting London. It also explores what kinds of tools do they use in their decisionmaking and understanding of the place they are visiting. Interviews are first conducted at the entrance square of the British Museum, Tate Modern, then in Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery, as well as in Covent Garden. The choice of these locations is made because of the abundance of cultural tourists expected to be there due to the cultural, heritage, monumental and iconic status of the attractions. 20 // 2.0 Research Methodologies
2.1.3 Expert Interviews Expert interview was carried out with Greg, the information staff at the Britain and London Visitor Centre, which is the front desk of Visit London, the official London Tourism Authority that is responsible for promoting city. Interview questions cover tourist concerns and issues, London Tourism development and strategies. 2.1.4 Online Surveys Two online surveys were created in Monkey Survey.com to gather qualitative information from a variety of people aged between 20 to 35 years old. The use of online surveys allow time for receivers to think and answer the open-ended questions, although some answers were not always elaborate. The first online survey gathers information on what decisionmaking and planning process people often go through as they prepare to go for a trip and their means of doing so. The second survey asks people to share their memorable experiences in order to understand the types of experiences that were most significant to people and what makes them positive or negative. 2.1.5 Shadow Studies Shadow studies with two tourist groups were carried out to gather in-depth information on how tourists behave as they are visiting places. The first shadow study was conducted with a Brazilian family of five, made up of Gabriela, an overseas student in her twenties and two middle-aged married couples
from her family. This is a two-day research that follows the family around in mainly central London. Another shadow study was conducted with Phil and his two friends from London, Lily and Hazel, all were in their twenties. This is a shorter shadow study which observes Phil to be on a specific “coffee” mission in central London within two hours. Effectively, it was not possible for the tourists to ignore the researcher’s presence as they are being followed around, however since it was made clear that the researcher would not be initiating any suggestions to affect the tourists’ behaviours and that any questions directed towards her would be interpreted as merely an enquiry to an external source, the awareness of the presence of the researcher in the shadow study should not be considered significant in the overall findings. 2.1.6 Visual Analysis Common Examples of Tourism Technology The most typical tourism technology used by a majority of tourists, as shown in visitor surveys such as the London Visitor Survey, and European Survey etc, are maps, guides and travel web sites. A case study of the two travel guide web sites, lonelyplanet.com and frommers.com were selected for an analysis and comparison on the purpose and information structures. The understanding of the communication of these systems is important for understanding what motivations and choices tourists has and how those are formed.
22 // 2.0 Research Methodologies
2.2 Secondary Research A list of literatures were consulted to inform and educate method for understanding and analysing the primary data that was collected. These are mainly literature about cultural tourism, technology in tourism, tourist behaviours, tourist experiences, place-branding and place-marketing theory and design research. For a comprehensive list of references please refer to the Bibliography at the end of this report.
Research Findings & Analysis
3.1 Tourist Decision-Making and Planning 26 3.2 Tourist Experiences 43
3.3 Impact of Technology on Tourists 47 3.4 Research Conclusion 50
Tourist Decision-Making and Planning Process of Decisions and Planning The study of what activities tourists take can outline the typical process they go through as they decide on a trip. From a sample of 16 Online Surveys about Trip Planning and Decision-Making Practices (see Appendix 1), qualitative data of the activities and materials/tools/sources used, has been arranged to map out the planning/decision-making process. These processes are then overlaid together to reveal the recurring patterns in these processes (see Figure 3.1). The sample of participants consist of a range of people between the aged 19 to 40 people from a diverse background but all with experience of travelling independently. The results of the online survey shows that Research is the main activity in regards to planning for a trip. The main sources of the research are guidebooks, recommendations by friends and relative, and the Internet, with Google being mentioned the most. Planning, which is defined by making actual plans for the trip, is the least committed activity within the touristsâ€™ trip decision-making and journey process. Researching is not always being considered as the first step of the trip planning. Decisions on where to go, which travels deals to take, when to go and who to go is considered to be a stage of the planning in itself. These decisions are important ones as they determine the key characteristics of a trip. Often the processes that begin at Decisions, lead either to Booking or Organising the trip. Booking and Organising, are next steps to the Decision stage that solidify the choices at the Decision stage had to made.
26 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.1 Processes for Trip Planning and Deciding What to Do Research from Online Survey - a Sample of 16 (Appendix 1)
Figure 3.2 Information Touchpoints and Tourists’ Planning Styles Research from Online Survey - a Sample of 16 (Appendix 1)
Types of Planning and Sources of Information at Destination Three types of tourists are identified by the way they planned their trip: the Strict Follower which follows their planning as close as possible, the Partially Planned which plan with enough flexibility for them to alter or further decide on how they are going to visit a destination, and the Improvisor, who generally decides what they will do after they arrive at the destination. The Improvisor and the Partially Planned will be more inquisitive to find out what is happening at the destination at the moment as they tend to observe more about the surrounding environment to find clues of what they can do to experience the city. Their sources are also more available which includes local people, friends and relatives, local services as well as the typical sources: that is the hotel and information staff. Depending on the types of plans the tourists make (also depending on the character of the tourist), the level of “immersion” or “interaction” with local cultures and people will vary.
28 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.3 Types of Inspirations and Motivations for Visiting Research from Online Survey - a Sample of 16 (Appendix 1)
How Tourists are Inspired and Motivated? The Trip Planning and Decision-Making Practice Online Survey (Appendix 1) also shows which type of inspirations and motivations most stimulate tourists’ desire to visit an attraction. Results show that tourists respond most to Visual stimulations, such as TV, photography, movies and virtual tours, following Travel Deals and People’s Recommendations. Urry has argued that tourism experiences are organised and enabled by visuality (2006). This influence of our visual senses seems to have already begun before a tourists gets to the destination. The fact that most people are inspired and motivated by visual materials also suggest a relation between people’s sensuality and inspirations and motivations. Also as these results are referring to inspirations and motivations before the tourists visit a destination, implications can also be drawn about people’s sensuality and decision-making. There will be more discussion on senses and experiencing in 3.2 Experiencing Places and Cultures. // 29
Sev wa ap rem to o pro mo dire
ORIENTING AND FINDING INSPIRATIONS IN PUBLIC OPEN SPACES Many tourists are engaging in way-finding and reading guidebooks as they sit at the open spaces of cultural attractions such as Trafalgar Square and the entrance of the National Gallery and British Musuem. These are aslo not quick stops, but could last from 5 to 30 minutes. The fact that the attractions are offering places to rest may have influence on these stops.
FINDING THINGS TO DO Some tourists seem to have made themselves comfortable and relaxed as they read about their destination while they are already at an attraction.
COLLABORATIVE EFFORT Supporting Brownâ€™s research on human behaviours with maps and guides, tourists are often collaborative in way-finding (with a map or guidebook) and often interaction between two people seem a supporting system where one is more in charge and the other assisting.
Som ma ma
What were They Doing?
Figure 3.4 Observational Research on Tourist Behaviours (For methods please refer to Chapter 2)
30 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Findings of the observational research at selected cultural sites in London show that tourists stopping at these sties are mainly engaged in three activities: Orienting themselves, or looking for inspirations or educating themselves about their destination, among other minor activities such as having lunch or hanging out. Collaboration in finding their orientation is common at the sites. The behaviour of simply reading about destinations also suggests an element of cultural learning among independent travellers (judging by where they are and what they are doing). Customisation of their tourism technology e.g. guidebooks and maps, is common
CUSTOMISED SYSTEMS AND FORMATS TO SUIT NEEDS Several tourists used different ways to prepare for way-finding and inspirations during their visits, by altering a product like a map or creating a system to help themselves remember what they want to do or see. These systems seem to often involve guidebooks and maps where the former is to provide information (and therefore inspiration or motivation) and the latter to provide orientation and directions. Cut out pages of maps
made elaxed nation at an
USING BODY TO ORIENTATE Many tourists as they orientate themselves using the guide, used fingers to point on maps and then arms/hands to point to locate the real direction
The use of the body to orientate suggests some peopleâ€™s need to manifest what they studied (of the map) to connect to what theyâ€™ve learnt with their current environment
h on s and often with a often seem one is other
INCORPORATING NEW MATERIALS Some tourists despite having their own prepared materials also seemed to have incorporated new local materials (often maps) into their systems.
among the tourists, such as cutting out maps from a city map book, printing out maps downloaded from online, highlighting and making references within a map and guidebook and so on. They would have a collection of maps from the local area to be incorporated into their own information system. Besides what the tourists are doing, the fact that so many of these independent tourists, stopped to read and dicuss what to do reveals a recurring pattern in tourist decisions and behaviours .
You will ask a person. You wouldnâ€™t ask a machine the best way to go in Oxford, the best things to do.
And in September, travel prices tend to go down, we have more old people (retired) and students. Retired with money but not wanting to pay peak season prices.
We find that the questions we often get asked are very, very vague, or super precise. Either question like: what would be most important to do in London or, question like: what is the opening hour for an attraction?
most people have got a smart phone these days
... A lot of inspirations to visit Britain comes from the movies... Culture is all different. It would be cuisines or the museums - lifestyles, culture is understood differently by different people. It could be the fabric of the city that are seen by the tourists. Visit Britain is launching the iplayer is going out of the country, if you got an ipad you will be able to access Britain media, you will be able to access UK films, TVs...
Sometimes people come to us with absolutely no idea about the country. We give advice depending on various limitations the tourists are having like time...
Well its organic... it just an evolutionary process.. it just takes all more in the big name or an attraction or event to transform a whole area...absolutely no roots at all.. and now they realise that they should organise themselves and market themselves..
one by one these things have been built from the last 7 to 15 years... which transform the scene... and thats not because somebody planned it, it just grows... it just kind of happened, no one direct this... // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.5 Expert’s View on Tourist Behaviours and London Tourism (left) Quoting from Expert Interview (Appendix 2)
Expert’s Opinions on Tourists in London Tourists’ main concerns, according to Greg (see Appendix 2), an experienced information staff, is between finding exactly where things are and trying to get an idea about what to do in London. “Sometimes people come to us with absolutely no idea about the country. We give advice depending on various limitations the tourists is having like time...” This confirms previous results where some tourists, e.g. the Improvisors, only make up their minds and their plans once they get to the destination, and that they would utilise whatever free resources is available to them. The influence of media on tourist inspirations and decisions is apparent in the way more mobile applications are being developed by the Tourism industries. This is implicated from Greg’s account of how the Tourism Authority in London had recently developed marketing strategies via platforms like the iplayer, ipad and smart phones. Visit London is exploring marketing strategies via the digital platform by developing ipad applications for tourists to access British media, UK films, TV shows and so on. Their attention to the media also correlates to the way media creates motivations and inspirations for travel which the previous research have shown. Additionally, the interview also revealed the organic nature of London Tourism where implications about London as a place can be drawn. As Grey had described, the tourism industry in London has “no roots” and that nobody had initially planned the tourist “growth” that were gained from the recent successful development like Tate Modern and London Eye. As more urban developments are underway, London’s landscape and place identify may continue to transform with more social and cultural impact.
London Tourists - Participants of the Interviews (above)
Processes and Practices of Visiting Tourists The motivations and inspirations tourists consult to while they travel can be very different those that influence them from home. A sample of 26 semi-structured interviews were carried out with tourists while they are visiting a cultural site in London. These tourists all came from different countries and are of different ages (see Figure 3.6) The interviews identify their motivations or decision influences and their decision processes. The decision influences were then compared with their behaviours/activities found in their process, the results are shown in Figure 3.7. The results concur with previous findings, where pre-trip research remains the primary activity before departure. “Following a formed plan”, and “Making plans on-the-go” are the two common actions as tourists travel; in second place following by “Researching for inspirations on-the-go”. The most common influence for decision attributes to “Personal Interests”, then “Fame” of the attraction or place and “Surprises of Unexpected Discoveries”. This is slightly different to the previous finding where Personal Interests have not rate as high as a decision motivator. As tourists often has “less” available
34 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
INTERVIEWEE PROFILES Date: 7th & 8th August 2011 Time: 1pm - 7pm; 10am - 7pm Location: Central London, various locations
Age: Middle Aged Gender: M From: Spain Visiting London: 3rd time Traveling with: Wife + Child Duration of Stay: n/a Interested to visit: Museums, Cambridge, Oxford
Age: Teenager Gender: F From: Czech Republic Visiting London: 2nd time Traveling with: Mother Duration of Stay: 1 Week Interested to visit: Greenwich, Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, London Eye, the Aquarium
Age: Middle Age Gender: M+F From: England: Somerset Visiting London: Dozens of time Traveling: Couple Duration of Stay: 2 Days Interested to visit: Courtauld Gallery, the Theatres, British Museum: Afganistan Exhibition
Age: 30s Gender: M From: Spain Occupation: Teacher Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Friend Duration of Stay: n/a Interested to visit: Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, Tower Bridge
Age: early 20s Gender: F From: Germany Visiting London: 1st time Traveling: Alone Duration of Stay: 2 Weeks Interested to visit: Westminister Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, Tate Modern
Age: 30s Gender: F From: China Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: 3 other colleagues Duration of Stay: 2 days Interested to visit: Famous sites in London: Buckingham Palace, British Musuem, Big Ben, Westminister Abbey
Age: 20s Gender: F From: Brazil Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Friend (study in London) Duration of Stay: 10 Days Interested to visit: Famous sites, shopping and eating places
Age: late 20s Gender: M From: New Zealand Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: 3 other colleagues Duration of Stay: 3 days Interested to visit: Main attractions
Age: late 20s Gender: F From: Australia Visiting London: 1st time Traveling: Alone Duration of Stay: 1 Week Interested to visit: Historical sites, museums, main sites of London
Age: 20s Gender: F From: Korea Occupation: Student Visiting London: Many times Traveling with: Friend Duration of Stay: 4 days Interested to visit: Free, admission, famous sites, Tate Modern, St Paul Cathedral
Age: 20s Gender: M From: Spain Visiting London: 2nd time Traveling with: Friends Duration of Stay: 9 days Interested to visit: All the city, Big Ben, Tower of London, Tate modern, places with great ambience, bars, music
Age: 30s Gender: M From: Poland Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Wife Duration of Stay: 22 days Interested to visit: museums, galleries, pubs and restaurants
Age: 20s Gender: M From: Australia Visiting London: 3rd time Traveling with: 3 other friends Duration of Stay: 5 days Interested: visiting friends living in London
Age: around 40s Gender: M Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Wife Duration of Stay: 1 Week Interested to visit: Museums, Galleries, Nature
Age: around 40s Gender: F From: Northern Ireland Visiting London: over 6 times Traveling with: Friend Duration of Stay: 4 days Interested to visit: Theatre, Covent Garden
Age: 20s Gender: F From: USA Visiting London: 1st time Traveling: Alone Duration of Stay: 2 Days Interested to visit: London Dungeon Experience, the monuments, shopping
Age: 20s Gender: F From: France Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: a friend Duration of Stay: 3 days Interested to visit: museums, galleries, British Museum, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, “places for tourists”
Age: 20s Gender: F From: Germany Visiting London: 3rd time Traveling with: 3 friends (1st time visit) Duration of Stay: 4 days Interested to visit: Chinatown, Madame Tussaud, famous sites
Age: 50s Gender: M From: Italy Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Wife Duration of Stay: 4 days Interested to visit: Art, some parks, museums, Big Ben, London Eye, Westminister Abbey, National Gallery
Age: 20s Gender: M Purpose of Visit: Job-Seeking From: Spain Occupation: Designer Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Alone Duration of Stay: 3-4 days Interested to visit: Camden Town
Age: 20s Gender: F From: The Netherlands Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: 3 other friends Duration of Stay: 5 days Interested to visit: “Hotspots” of Londond, Big Ben, Westminister
Age: late 20s Gender: M+F From: USA Visiting London: 1st & 2nd time Traveling with: Family Duration of Stay: 2 days Interested to visit: Hidden gems Not Interested to visit: Touristy places
Age: 20s Gender: M From: Spain Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: Friends Duration of Stay: 1 Week Interested in: Parties, photography
Age: 30s Gender: M+F From: France & Germany Visiting London: 3rd & 1st time Traveling with: n/a Duration of Stay: 1 Week Interested to visit: the arts, museums
Age: 20s Gender: M
Age: 40s Gender: M+F
From: Itay Visiting London: 2nd time Traveling with: friends from Italy Duration of Stay: 3 Week Interested to visit: Wimbledon, the museums, parks, “fun” places
From: France Occupation: Teacher Visiting London: 1st time Traveling with: n/a Duration of Stay: ! Weeks Interested to visit: the Wedding Dress, museums, Westminister Abbey, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery
Figure 3.6 A Sample of 26 London Tourists Profiles Research from Semi-Structured Interview - a Sample of 26 (Appendix 3)
Figure 3.7 Planning Process Matrix & Decision Influences Research from Semi-Structured Interview - a Sample of 26 (Appendix 3)
36 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Research: About Destination & What to do There
PLANNING PRE-TRIP PROCESS Make Booking for Products/ Services*
Formulate Detailed Itinerary
Rough Planning**/ Form Ideas of What to Do Follow Formed Plans/ Ideas
Make Rough Plans of the Day in the Morning
PLANNING PROCESS MATRIX & DECISION INFLUENCES Make Plans “On-the-Go”
Form Itinerary for the Next Day in the Evening
Research for Inspiration: “On-the-Go”
Research for Inspiration: Before / After Visiting
Readjust or Change Plans
Further Planning: After Original Plans
Factors that influence the Factors decisions that influence the tourist’s as they tourist’s they form theirdecisions plans forastheir form their plans for their journeys journeys
DECISION DECISION INFLUENCES INFLUENCES
External Conditions: e.g. weather, closed shops etc
Previous Knowledge/ Previous Knowledge/ Past Experiences Past Experiences
Surprises/ Unexpected Discovery
Not Enough/ Not Enough/ Too Much Time Too Much Time
Personal Interests Personal Interests
Physical/Emotional Conditions: e.g. Tiredness/ Boredom
“Buzz” or FameSurprises/ of Attration, Products, Unexpected Service Discovery
External Conditions: e.g. weather, closed shops etc
Physical/Emotional Conditions: e.g. Tiredness/ Boredom
“Buzz” or Fame of Attration, Products, Service
Figure 3.8 Quoting Participants on What They Think about their Decisions Research from Semi-Structured Interview - a Sample of 26 (Appendix 3)
resources while they travel, perhaps relying on knowledge of their personal interests and already famous places could be a â€œbetter betâ€? for them. Although as implicated by the how people are likely to be engaged in more research while they are travelling, and the comments shown in Figure 3.8, independent tourists maybe creating opportunities for serendipity as they travel, hence the flexibility of their planning and pre-trip research. The results also demonstrated the complexity behind the choices and influences with each decision a tourist makes.
38 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.9 Process Framework of Information Sourcing, Base on Correia (2002) and Leipar (1990) (Source: Adapted from Beiger and Laesser, 2006)
Process Approach to Understanding Information Search Behaviour for Making Travel Decisions There exist several approaches to analysing and understanding how consumers make decisions by looking at how they find out about the object of consumption. Since tourists are a type of consumer, who consumes tourism products and services, as well as the cultures and places they travel to, those existing approaches would be relevant for application. Beiger and Laesser, recommends the process approach in understanding decision behaviours rather than analysing just the actions required. The process approach looks at what information has been generated, how it creates needs and wants and how that leads to motivation and expectations (2011p.357). Based on Leiper and Correiaâ€™s work, the authors also sought to distinguishes three stages of making decisions that relates to the tourists: The considerations and processes before making decisions on â€œirreversible choicesâ€? such as where // 39
to go, which hotel to stay, which flight to book; the actual decision processes for the trip; and finally the processes in preparation for the trip after the “irreversible choices” are made (see Figure 3.9). The process model can facilitate a better explanation and understanding of how tourists search and read information as it allows different types of paths and shifts in information sources (Beiger and Laesser, 2011).
Frustrations with Places In-depth observations and understanding of the influences and motivations for choices made were carried out by following two groups of tourists around in two different days. The first study, illustrated in Figure 3.10, show the path and places been to with a group of Brazilian family consisting of 5 adults, leading by the daughter who is a student in London. The second shadow study (see Figure 3.11) follows a group of three friends, who have set themselves a coffee tour that day. Both studies show the pre-trip research and planning done before the journey begins and both have demonstrated the constant “update” of these plans. With the first group, the leader of the group, the daughter had to constantly assess her surroundings and constantly make changes to her planning. There were a range of factors that influenced her including: bad weather, tiredness and lack of interests to some proposed destinations. On the other hand, group two, didn’t actually have an itinerary but a list of cafes that they must explore on the day. The list was researched by one of the group on TimeOut, with details of what to try and the addresses. As it was just a list, the group had to think about how to visit the cafes in the most efficient and relaxing way possible. The way these groups experienced London was very different. Although group one was visiting touristy destinations, they are more relaxed and paid attention to the surrounding streetscapes. They found enjoyment in discovering similarities between London and their home country. On the other hand, group two as they navigate the street on their smart-phones, they were much more focused on getting to the destinations and enjoy their time there rather than on the streets. Although smart phone allow them to find the cafes quickly, there were not as much interactions between the group while they are moving. Frustrations with extra time on hands and a lack of inspiration to use those times had cause some stress on both groups. At the end of a long day, the daughter who had been making all the decisions were fatigued with assessing and making any choices. There were occasion where she was frustrated by a lack of ideas,
40 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Jessops/ Jacobs Totm Ct. Rd. Tube Station St Paul Tube Station The Tea Shop
St Paul Cathedral Costa Coffee
Covent Garden Jamie’s Kitchen
END China Town
Camera Shopping at Jessops and Jacobs Shop name and address were previously researched and given to Gabi to make the itinerary Part of the challenge in Gabi’s planning is to cover these specific shopping points while visiting attractios
On th way to the British Museum Briefly stopped in front of a liquar store and began a group discussion Influence: personal interests / past experience with the products
St Paul Cathedral Participation in candle-lighting and particular interests in the interior reflects influence of the family’s catholic background
Costa Coffee Quick decisions made about what to have for lunch near the cathedral - out of convenience Planning ways to get to the next destination Chaning plans due declining weather conditions by considering other arrangements Initiating discussions with me as I was more informed about London than her family Updated the day’s original itinerary- evidence of pre-trip planning Existing shopping list give by her family forms part of her planning
Tools: shopping list/ map/ brand signage
Tools: maps/itinery/shopping list
Influence: convenience/ distance to other attractions
Influence: rainny weather/ limited time/ transportation/ distances between attractions/ previous knowledge
THE TEA SHOP
TOT. CT. RD TUBE STN
ST PAUL TUBE STN
ST PAUL CATHEDRAL
China Town The family happily and quickly accepted the suggestion of dining in China Town. They did not enquire any information about where I was taking them which I suspected was out of their tiredness, hunger and also politeness. The trust given me seem also to have connection to my ethnicity and the type of cuisine I was about to take them to. Jamie’s Kitchen The family had planned to dine at Jamie’s Kitchen, however they were not allowed to book a table on the weekend and upon getting there were already many people waiting outisde. As the family was hungry they decided to try other restaurants near by instead. Gabi was frustrated and tired and “requested” me to help take them to somewhere to eat as she could no longer make anymore decisions. The Tea Shop Uncertainty of closing times and the time of day had influenced the family’s decision to buy tea leaves at Covent Garden and not China Town as shops were starting to close, Gabi decided not to walk to China Town’s shop which may be closed by the time they got there. other
Remembering the BM Experience The family like many other tourists in the museum started taking pictures with the exhibits or just the objects indicating behaviours of capturing travel experiences in photographs The family also visited the museum shop after visiting the exhibitions, Gabi explained that her mother was hoping to get some Egyptian looking jewelry as souvenir. Tools: camera Influence: desire to capture the experience
Futher Planning As Gabi noticed that her family was getting tired from the walking, she reconsidered her plans once more to ensure that her family would feel comfortable as they tour London. She was considering other options such as going to Holborn to sit at a nice cafe and also consulted her rough map of London for other inspirations. Gabi who was also tired asked her family what they would like to do now, and as they assured her that they were feeling okay, they decided to continue the original plan and head to Covent Garden Tools: map Influence: tiredness/ time of day (late afternoon)
Visiting British Museum The first thing Gabi did once she arrived was getting maps for her family After a group discussion about what to see, they finally decided to just cover the Egyptian galleries The map here facilitated entire group participation in discussing about what the group was going to do, it also enabled some intra-group interactions Gabi later explained to me because her mother and aunt were very interested to see the Egyptian exhibitions before they came hence they decided to just focus on this with the limited time they have as the museum was closing in 90 minutes. Tools: map Influence: personal interests/ previous knowledge / expectations/ limited time
Figure 3.10 Shadow Study of Group One Research from Shadow Studies (Appendix 4)
Figure 3.11 Shadow Study of Group Two Research from Shadow Studies (Appendix 4)
not because she didn’t have any ideas but because she was too tired to compare her choices. Group two on the other hand, were also frustrated by having extra time in their plans as the last cafe they wanted to go to had closed. Both groups show moments of “gaps” in their journeys where they stood and discuss “what they should do”. At one point the daughter had expressed her wish of a smart phone to solve her problems (as she didn’t have any guidebooks or other tourism materials to inspire her). However, after studying group two who were using the smart phone all the way, it is doubtful that any “instant” information a smart phone provides would be any useful. As demonstrated by group two, smart phone were more a source of information rather than necessarily a source of inspiration.
42 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Experiencing Places and Cultures
Meaningful Experiences and Cultures Memories of the destination strengthens the meaning of those places in people. A sample of 20 online surveys conducted to identify what constitute a meaningful experience of places, shows that people with positive memories, the more they interacted with or immersed into the local “I felt as though I had experienced lives or cultures of the place, the more something more genuine than others who culturally meaningful these experiences perhaps would stick to the normal tourist activities. Although our guide often led are to them. Most of the positive experiences people shared in the survey relates to their interactions with local cultures or people. Some of these experiences even allowed them to immerse into another culture, with the guidance of the local people where they are able to learn about other customs, traditions, way of life of the other. Some value the experience of being in a place as if they are from the destination. This kind of immersing experience presented a kind of authenticity of the local culture that increase the tourists’ understanding of the destination and
walks for the accommodation guests, it didn’t feel staged, or contrived. He was answering our questions and speaking honestly about his life rather than a scripted routine that you often find on these kinds of tours.”
“It’s all about who you travel with and the attitude you bring. the experience all depends on how to want to perceive your surroundings. One can feel depressed in world renowned or feel wonderful in a torn hostel” “Being able to navigate around a city with buses means an understanding of the city’s morphology. The look of the streets, wide or narrow, are there lots of bicycles/ motorcycles, are the cars generally new or old, big or mini tells us everything about the place. Using underground systems, the efficiency/reliability, ease of use, cleanliness, also just to observe people, their appearance and behaviour while there might not be a lot to look at”
Figure 3.12 Responses to Memorable Place and Experiences (above) and Responses to Perception/Feeling after the Experiences (below)
the people living with in it. In Figure 3.12 the above image displays words that are most mentioned in relation to what a memorable meaningful experience is to them, while the bottom shows what and how they perceive about the culture or place after they have encountered the memorable experience. In both results, “People”and “Culture” have the most mentions. Indeed, when other people are involved in one’s experience, it increases the meaning or value of that experience because that would be a “shared” experience, which implies moments of interactions and idea exchanges. “There is much more to travelling than just for personal goals. It’s also about learning about others - how they live, what they go through and how they cope with life”. Experiences where one realised they are learning about another cultures also makes the encounter meaningful. The images provided
44 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.13 Images Relating to the Memorable Experiences Shared
by the participants shown in Figure 3.13 provides a glimpse of aspect of the place or culture that they valued, such as interactions with the locals, evidence of objects that belong to the place (such as a transport map) or a scenery captured that characterises the moment. The responses in the survey illustrated the idea that to for an encounter to be meaningful, a person must go out of its way observe, learn and participate. “Sometimes it’s well worth being more inquisitive and explorative, especially in different countries”. The survey also obtained responses for negative experiences. Similarly, “people” can also cause negative feelings in tourist encounters. Such instances often involves local people seen in less pleasant light such as, poverty, rudeness and greediness. However, one can argue that if tourists ask for experiencing the authentic then these negative experiences may also be a part of the authentic culture of the destination. “I feel that it is not the place’s fault, it is about the atmosphere, whether I feel comfortable or not.” Although it is not the aim of the research to justify how much “authentic” life a tourist should feel, or whether it is moral to only allow only the “good side” to be seen by tourist, however a tourist should at least be mindful and be respectful to the way local cultures are, that is when they are not being a “spectacle” (Urry, 2007) to the tourists.
“Visual Nature of Tourism” Urry’s work on the Tourist Gaze to explain the visual nature of tourist experiences, suggests how “visuality” have been an integral part of experiencing and the growing separation of “vision” from other kinds of senses (2006, p.148). He argues that vision enable us to organise what we “see” as tourists to be able to “interact” with another culture in this sense. Tourists “gazes” into another culture, as the other become a “spectacle”. Tourist experiences can be primarily understood first and foremost as “observing” and “looking”. Urry also typologised different types of “gaze”, such as the “romantic gaze”, the “collective gaze” “spectatorial gaze” “reverential gaze” and the “anthropological gaze”, each representing different attitudes or interactions with the object of the “gaze”. However, these typologise do not mean to explain the tourists’ motivations. (2006, p. 145). Rather, it sought to explain how tourist experiences begin by the way one “sees”. His work however, had shed light on a behaviour that was neglected in the research thus far: how people encounter, interact, capture their experiences as they travel. It is a fact that is easily missed as it is a very common and natural phenomenon: tourist consumes their experiences by seeing a lot of attractions, reading a lot about a culture in their research and see with imagery as they listen to audio or tour guide explaining the history and meanings of a place. Despite the social, cultural and experiential reasons a tourist is being motivated, or the abundance and diversity of tourism products and services, the method of place and cultural consumption for tourists remain limited: that is with their eyes, and through their lenses.
46 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Technology and Tourism Information sources used for pre-trip planning Internet
Information sources for making further trip plans/preparations
WoM (F&R) Maps
Travel Agency/ Brochures
Maps Tourist Centre Smart Phone Guidebooks
Travel Agency/ Brochures
Figure 3.14 Information Sources Used for Planning Research from Online Survey - a Sample of 16 (Appendix 1)
Less Technology While Travel Despite the increasing popularity of using smart phones or similar digital devices anywhere and everywhere in our daily lives, as well as before we travel, the usage of digital technology great reduce once the tourist begin their trips. From the Planning and Decision-Making Practices Online Survey (see Appendix 1), the results show a big difference in the technology used before and during a trip. Sources that involves human contacts increased and while usage of the Internet decreases. However, low-tech options like maps and guidebooks have also decreased as tourists visit a city.
Lonely Planet (above), Frommer’s (below)
Structure Analysis The case study of the way existing information structures for two travel guide web sites are designed, show the generic catalogue structure that characterises these tourism technologies (see Figure 3.15). Murray have argued that, places have marketed like a product where their complexities of cultural meanings have been “reduced” so that one could quickly comprehend its offering. (2001, p.8). The reductive process have also affected how people perceive and consume places. Gretzel has argued the influence intelligent systems has on people, especially they become an integral in supporting information search and decision-making
48 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
Figure 3.15 Information Structures Comparison Lonely Planet (above), Frommer’s (below)
processes (Gretzel, 2011). He argues that there are “processes of the full situation of user-technology interaction” (2011, p.762). In the same sense, through searching and receiving destinations as culturally homogenous within these information structures that describes the places by categorising them into character-less features, consequently tourists also “learn” to perceive places and cultures as such. Travelblogs are thus better tools to communicate destinations in this sense, as the experiences shared restore back the complex cultural and social characteristics of places.
Target User The project will target independent travellers who has the appetite to learn about another culture. These travellers would be technology-savvy enough to research cultural offerings but they can also be low-tech when travelling in a foreign country with the ability to organise trips and combine different tourist services. They should be between 20 to 35 year old, which is the age group with the largest number coming to London in 2008, according to the London Visitor Survey, 2008. They would travel either alone, or in small groups rather than with a large group of people.
Lack of Planning and Inspirations Independent tourists seldom articulate details of their plans before a trip, despite they may spend more effort in researching about a place or have enough preconceptions or prior knowledge about a place and what there is to do. Hence, they may already have preconceptions about a place but these preconceptions may help them decide what kinds of things they should do at the destination, with expectations that may not be fulfilled. Expectations are formed not only from the pre-trip researches, but also the way the place have been promoted or recommended. In fact tourists do not lack ideas of where to go since they utilise as best they can all the sources they can find at the moment should they require it. This implies the importance of pre-trip influences as tourist are affecting directly and indirectly by what they hear, see, read about places. Lack of inspirations seem to cause the bigger frustrations and disappointments in
50 // 3.0 Research Findings & Analysis
not utilising the time as much as possible. This lack of inspiration doesn’t mean they do not have any options, but the lack of motivations to assess and make choices. This is the dilemma of the independent tourists, resulting from their lack of planning - which causes them to constantly make decisions and assess their situation that in turn causes “blanks” or “fatigue” of thinking. The lack of inspiration is also caused by the way tourists experience and make meaning of places.
Experiencing with Other Senses Primarily, Tourism promotes consumption of places by making them “spectacles,” and services and products are developed around this concept, such as museums, iconic attractions. By continuously consuming places in this manner, it creates “tires” the minds from the eyes. Other ways of experiencing places must be explored to disrupt this continuous consumption process. Moreover, as the research have shown, experiences are memorable and meaningful when tourists become immersed into another culture. This immersion does not merely include viewing the culture, or place, but refers to the full participation of the tourists, either physically or in the mind. Participation can facilitate interactions, which involves more than merely “looking”. Inspirations that can facilitate more usage of other sense of the body may change the way people experience and understand places.
Structures to Change Ways of Perceiving Places The impact of technology is evident in the pre-trip stage and less so as the tourists begin their travel. The way travel inspirations and information are structured at the moment do not express the cultural complexity and abundance of places. These structures limits how one might experience places, which reduce places to single purpose spaces: such as spots for “Shopping”, “Dining”, “Sightseeing” and so on, which should be challenged. Places do have multimeanings and do have multi- purpose serving different types of people. Tourism technology or system that facilitates exploration of these complex meanings and purposes of places should be developed. Such explorations may lead to tourists rediscovering the cultural distinctiveness of global destinations.
4.1 Concept Generation 54 4.2 Concept Development 60
4.3 Branding 70 4.3 User Testing and Feedback 73 4.4 Design Outcome 76
4.1 Concept Generation Approach As previously established in the Research Conclusion, “other kinds” of inspirations for the visiting tourists that enable them to immerse in the destination’s place and culture rather than mere inspirations of “what to do next,” could enhance the tourists’ experiences and memories of the destination. It was important for the tourist to be active participants, with the motivation to “learn” from their experience with the destination’s characteristics as well as to “share” those experiences to relive and strengthen the meaning of these experiences in one’s mind. Following in this direction, the first design approach of the service was as illustrated in Figure 4.1 which became a framework for the first concept idea summarised in Figure 4.2. OBJECTIVES
Share. Explore. Experience. Learn.
Service Generating Content by Sharing the experience
Creating dreams = Arousing interests to Experience
Channel for Feedback
Figure 4.1 Design Approach One
54 // 4.0 Design Process
CONCEPT ONE Content Generation
INSPIRATION BOARD Reason for Sharing
A cross-platform tourist inspiration and review service - An online hub for culture-lovers, new travellers - Visual and experience-based classification of places - Personal “galleries” to store travel memories and experiences - Contribution to promoting local city experiences - Connecting with locals who are willing to share the best part of their cities Figure 4.2 Service Concept One Summary
Concept One The idea was to create a cross-platform service where users would create their own Travel Gallery that would be shared out via the Inspiration Board where other users of the service could refer to for ideas of explorations that were not typically found in a travel guide. The users would interact with the service through four phases: the Sign In, the Inspirations, the Gallery and the Feedback. The innovation of the service concept was in the way information were catalogued and the way people were required to create their Travel Gallery as if they were journalists. The service also enable social interactions between the locals and visitors as the users were required to share the best part of their residing city as a “token” for the free online registration. Initial ideas for the way information were catalogued and displayed could be seen in Figure 4.3, such as using category that describes the theme or atmosphere of the place (e.g. Historic, scenic, vibrant) rather than by the function of the place (e.g. Attractions, Dining, Sightseeing etc). Although the social component had the potential to engage users with local people who were willing to communicate with tourists, however, as shown by Figure 4.4, with the generation of content and social interaction as two integral part of the service the project would eventually become too much to handle.
Figure 4.3 Ideas for Cataloguing Information
This also led to confusion of whether the social part or the inspiration part were more important to develop. There was also a huge gap between the Gallery and the Inspiration part, as an interesting online Gallery “template” may not be sufficient to hook the users to the online platform to share their experiences, especially there were great competition from social media network such as flickr, facebook, twitter and so on. This concept in general seemed to be leading towards creating another “travelblog”/”information” forum that was attempting to be different. Figure 4.4 Sketch of Service Scenario for Concept One
56 // 4.0 Design Process
Explore. Experience. Share. Be Inspired. Meaningful Experience
Platform to Share
New Way of Experiencing
Arouse Interest to Explore = Help Tourist to Immerse in Visiting Cultures and Places
Generating Content by Sharing the Experience
Prompts and Interactions
Platform to Explore
Creating Interests in New Types of Experiences
Figure 4.5 Design Approach Two
Concept Two In the new approach outlined in Figure 4.5, the service would cover three main areas: to support and provide prompts and interactions that facilitate new ways of experiencing the destination; to provide a platform where tourists can share their experiences to enhance the meaningful encounters and a platform that support tourists to explore other users’ experiences to be inspired. This approach would replace the first concept’s idea on using a Travel Gallery to facilitate change in behaviour, with the new idea of introducing prompts during the tourist’s journey. This emphasised on other ways of experiencing the destination rather than the original approach of merely recommending what else to do. The new idea also removed social interactions as an element to develop as this development in this area was diluting the focus of the service objectives. The concept could be summed up by two parts: the Prompts and the Sharing Platform. As illustrated in Figure 4.6, the idea was to assist and encourage tourists to make new discoveries and create unique destination-specific experiences by introducing the Prompts, and at the same time, promote the benefits of the Prompts with an online platform that allow people to explore and be inspired by
POOL OF PROMPTS & INTERACTIONS
Generate Unique Content to Share
Reason for Using the Prompts
SHARING & INSPIRATION PLATFORM
A service that facilitates and supports tourist explorations - An online hub for culture-lovers, new travellers - Interaction/Prompts-based classification of shared experiences - Platform to document travel memories and experiences - Contribution to promoting new ways of experiencing city destinations Figure 4.6 Service Concept Summary
people’s experience of the city destination using with the Prompts. Design of the service should ensure the experiences shared were reflecting the unique qualities of the destinations and the usefulness of the prompts.
Inspirations - Keri Smith An important influence that inspired and fostered Concept Two were Keri Smith and her work in Wreck this Journal (2007) and How to be an Explorer of the World (2008). Smith’s work were mainly about creating interactions and prompts that encourage explorative behaviours in people. The Keri Smith’s Work: How to be an Explorer of the World (left) illustrative nature and the casual and direct Wreck This Journal (right) tone in her visually prompting pages were instrumental in facilitating a person’s inquisition and imagination. However the major inspiration from her work was how she connected people with their surrounding place by “visually” encouraging them to become conscious of their surroundings and to “embrace” the “unknown” which gave room for empathy and imagination - two key factors for understanding and gaining insights about lives in other cultures. Throughout the concept development, Smith’s works were used as an important point of reference.
58 // 4.0 Design Process
To enter into the unknown (to partake in an experiment) involves a willingness to fully experience and study things we donâ€™t understand and to embrace that lack of understanding. Keri Smith, How to Be an Explorer, p148
4.2.1 Design Methods A combination of design methods were documented in the next section to illustrate the design process of the two major components of Concept Two: the prompts and the online platform. The design for the two physical service touchpoints had further solidified the service idea into a tangible service proposal. The methods featured here were utilised simultaneously to develop and prototype different aspects of the service such that a holistic service design outcome could be realised.
Persona Four personas, Rick, Jill, Liam and Haz (Figure 4.7) were created to capture the social group that the service concept was targeting at. As previously established in Chapter 3, the users targeted would be independent travellers who often travel alone or in a small group and would have an appetite for exploring and enjoying other cultures and the places they were visiting. The social group that was chosen would have the following characteristics: - Between 20-35 years of age. - Living by the digital age with memories of the non-digital past. - More curious about new technology rather than dependent on it. - Travel for them was about seeing the world and feeling the vibe of other cities - Planning for their travels would be to balance the time for visiting the icons of the destination, with time for exploring the locality on their own. Thus there would not be too much planning ahead. - Had empathy and appreciation for various kinds of cultures. - Enjoy customisation and like to personalise the systems and products they own - As decisions were often made circumstantially, timing and plans would show flexibility but also with the possibility of becoming exhausted with making decisions. 60 // 4.0 Design Process
RICK/ Marketing Exe./ 26yrs/ Samsung & Mac Book user/ Hobbies: photography, collects random things, cycling, all kinds of history, loves coffee, likes to socialise
JILL/ Architect/ 28 yrs/ Most precious thing is her iphone 4s & facebook account/ Hobbies: street jazz, fashion, blogging Interests: Degas, Van Gogh and Klimt
LIAM, Business Manager /32 yrs/ using both Blackberry & iphone/ Hobbies: the Gym, learning photography with his Nikon D3X, Beliefs: networking is good for work
HAZ/ Arts Administrator/ 30 yrs/ HTC user/ Hobbies: Bushwalking, tennis, Twitter fan, enjoy playing with new apps, likes reading Monocle, National Geographic
Figure 4.7 Personas Based on Profiles of Potential Users
By creating these personas, it was then possible to imagine scenarios and the appropriate actions and behaviours as Storyboards to further understanding the needs and to ideate the appropriate kind of interventions to solve the identified problem. Throughout the concept development, these four personas were constantly referred back to.
Figure 4.8 Storyboard of a Typical User Journey
Storyboards The use of storyboarding to visualise the potential user journey had revealed the problem areas and identified opportunities where the service idea could be of use. The Figure 4.8 showed a typical user journey of the potential user travelling with another friend. Using the persona as the character in the story, the storyboard revealed moments -marked by the orange circles- where the user would experience frustration and doubts which were either caused by a lack of motivation, tiredness from justifying and thinking of the next thing to do with extra time and the inability to recall memories that captures the special nature of the trip. The pink circles identified points of opportunity in the journey where the service touchpoints could be introduced. The idea of introducing prompts as a mobile app and a real set of “Tools” had respectively came up and were tested by storyboarding to see how the ideas would play out in the story. It was through developing these stories (see Figure 4.9 and Figure 10) that the strengths and weaknesses of each ideas were revealed. The tactile quality of the “Toolkit” was realised to be a potential incentive for the user to respond to the prompts and the transition from the physical Tool to the digital online platform could become a distinctive part of the service experience. The “Toolkit” idea was then further “prototyped” by starting the story at another service touchpoint. 62 // 4.0 Design Process
Figure 4.9 Intervention Ideas
Figure 4.10 Service Journey Idea
Figure 4.11 Service Journey Startin from a Different Touchpoint
Figure 4.12 Affinity Diagrams of Ideas for Tools (ie. Prompts)
64 // 4.0 Design Process
Brainstorming the “Tools”
Figure 4.13 Tools Matrix - Regrouping the ideas to show which “type of sense” and “action” lacks ideas
Outcome Type of Sense Observation / Sight
Photography/ Visual Evidence
Drawing / Mapping
Locator Badges of Bests Treasure Maps Street Scaper
The actual content of the Prompts or “Tools”, were developed in several Brainstorming. Initially, ideas were generated based on the types of bodily sense relating to the use of the Tool, that is: sight, smell and taste, sound, touch, atmosphere/social interaction. However to organise and understand what the tourists were expected to do with the Tools, or the tangible “outcome” after use; the next category - the resulting actions were introduced to categorise and refine existing ideas. (See Figure 4.12). By visualising the how prompts relates to the action and the type of sense within a matrix (see Figure 4.13 and 4.14), a basic system was developed to shape each prompt into a more complex yet solidified idea that result in multiple actions outcomes. Text/Recording
Keeping / Collecting
10 Sec Stopwatch
Snoop Records Pattern Records
Smell / Taste
Local Surveyor Depository
Figure 4.14 Matrix for Tools: Showing the Type of Sense each idea focuses on and the possible “action” outcome it can lead to
Figure 4.15 Final Five Ideas for Prototyping - From top left to right: The Portraiture, the Snook Records, the Street Sketch, the Maps Folder, the Depository (above)
Figure 4.16 Rapid Prototyping Process for the Tools (opposite page)
Rough Prototyping Designing the “Tools” The general idea for all the Tools was that each would contain a piece of instructions for the user to follow, designed “templates” or objects to prompt users to fulfil the required tasks, examples of what the end result of the prompt would be and information that tied the Tool and the specific city together. As the research was carried out within London, the prototypes of the Tools would also be designed at tourists visiting London. A final of five ideas for the Tools were selected from Brainstorming to develop into prototypes. Figure 4.15 showed the final five ideas and the design sketches for each Tool:
66 // 4.0 Design Process
- The Maps Folder: Take pictures and draw rough maps of interesting places that were “stumbled” upon - The Portraiture: Record interesting people on the streets and imagine their life stories - The Snoop Records: Record interesting overheard conversations - The Depository: Pick up an object as a token to symbolise significant travel encounters and record the related significance of the experience - The Street Sketch: Create an imaginary street full of things from the streets that were intriguing Rough paper prototypes of the product and graphic design were made in black and white to acquire quick users feedback which helped further refine the design (see Figure 4.16). Preliminary feedback demonstrated positivity towards the physical forms and idea of the Tools as rough prototypes. These informal feedback became part of the more in-depth results described in 4.4 User Testing and Feedback.
Web site Development The purpose of the web site was to enhance the meaning and value of the Tools by creating an online hub where people could share the travelling discoveries and unique experiences they realised by using the Tools. By prototyping the site architecture and interface layout of the web site, more clarity for the necessary web site functions could be realised and more control over the “size” and “scope” of the online platform (see Figure 4.17 and 4.18).
Figure 4.17 Sketches for Web site Design
68 // 4.0 Design Process
Figure 4.18 Web site Architecture - Draft
Prototypes realised for the web site in this project did not have the same purpose as a web site prototype typical within the web design industry. The prototype produced here were for the purpose of communicating only the service idea and not the usability or technicality of the web site itself - as this would not be possible within time constraints and ability of the researcher for this project. Figure 4.19 showed the interface design of the major web page to demonstrate the key functions of the site that were essential for the overall service.
Figure 4.19 Prototype Web pages
Branding The branding of this service is part of the design solution which establishes the Toolkit and the web site as a new service. The branding strategy proposed is to establish a sense of play, feeling of enjoyment as well as provoke thinking and attracts attention.
emic The service will be named “emic” which in the anthropological context, meaning of or relating to the perspective of an “insider” or the “subjective” point of view from the one within the culture being studied. It also stands for: Explore with Motivation, Imagination and Creativity, which calls for the users to be inquisitive in learning and experiencing other cultures. Emic In Cities, refer to a range of Toolkit organised and designed specifically for different city destination. The final prototype, “Emic in London” is the first of this range of Toolkits.
70 // 4.0 Design Process
Brand Mission: Facilitate and stimulate touristsâ€™ own exploration and discovery of their surroundings Inspire new ways of experiencing places, people and their pasts and existing cultures Provide different ways of gaining tourist information and understanding about destinations Enhance tourists experiences to be more destinationspecific and meaningful
Brand Vision: Leader in creating the most inspirational and imaginative hub for creating experiences/creative tourist ideas,
Brand Values: Inspiring Memorable + Different Imaginative Personalisation Fun + Easy-Going (Brings Happiness) Cultural Sensitivity and Understanding Collaboration
72 // 4.0 Design Process
User Testing and Feedback
4.4.1 User Testing A combination of methods were used to illustrate as best as possible the service experience users would encounter with the proposed service, emic. A walkthrough of the service was told using prototypes of physical touchpoint (emic.com web site interface and emic in Cities Toolkit) with descriptions of assumed user interactions and performances to create a simulation of the service experience. The assumed performances were generated by going through the storyboards and cognitive walkthrough as the persona of the service. At certain points of the walkthrough, interviewees were then asked for feedback to respond to the simulation. Five in-depth User Testing sessions were held to collect preliminary results (Please refer to Appendix 6 for the details on the User Testing and Feedback).
Service Feedback In general, the aesthetic and basic structure of the service has received positive comments. Participants expressed interests in actually using some of the Tools as they find the ideas interesting. They also understood the aim of the sharing platform after they have seen the Toolkit. There is some doubt as to whether they would carry the Toolkit with them while they are // 73
Figure 4.20 User Feedback Sheet
travelling, despite a general show of interest in owning some of the items. Different Tools are favoured by different people, though the Portraiture remain one of the most popular Tools, followed by the Snoop Record and the Maps Folder. There are some concern about the time it requires to finish one task for each Tool, however, feedback also showed that participants do understand purpose of the Tools are to facilitate more awareness in their surroundings. There are comments that the service would seem more attractive and meaningful if the Toolkit is shown first as it explains the existence of the web platform. Also users tend to prefer feeling the tactile quality of the Tool and then consider the service rather than the other way round. However, since the web site would feature how users play with each tools while travelling, as well as sharing unique discoveries, it does achieve the purpose of promoting and maintaining customer relationships with the Tools. This however implies that a better strategy for service touchpoints need to be reconsidered. 74 // 4.0 Design Process
Figure 4.21 User Feedback on Prompts/Tools Content
With one exception all other participants can imagine themselves using or exploring the service. The remaining participants decided he wouldn’t consider carrying the Toolkit as he preferred to travel as “light” as possible. However, he expressed that he can imagine participation only when his friends are using the Tools. There is a general lack of comment with the contents of the Tool in regards to how it may inspire tourists. None of the participants in the User Testing commented on the effect of the specific information. A template of user feedback sheet that incorporated most of the contents of the Tools on the sheet (see Figure 4.20 and 4.21). Comments on the feedback sheet show that they have generally enjoyed the process. Some difficulties identify includes the participants’ inability to draw, and the time it takes for them to stop at one point to complete the tasks. A sample of the template can be found in Appendix 7. // 75
What is the Service? A Toolkit and online sharing platform for different and creative exploration ideas for tourists. The online sharing platform allows users to share their travel experiences and feedback on the Tools they have used. The Toolkit provides a number of prompts that encourage users to explore their surroundings in different ways and discover their own personal understanding or knowledge about the places they were visiting (see Figure 4.22).
Figure 4.22 Service Journey Blueprint (opposite) (Based on the Customer Journey Canvas by Stickdorn and Schneider)
76 // 4.0 Design Process
Can only be done while Travelling. For Fun. For Personal Expression.
Information search on official city tourism website e.g. Visit London.com. Travel blogs.
Toolkit: Fun Stuff to do while Travelling. Travel Sharing Hub. Travel Journey Publisher. Present from a friend.
Peopleʼs travel experience shared as link. Free joining on website. Destination-specific
emic.com/ Toolkit Packaging at Information Centre; Hotels; Cultural Site: e.g. Tate Modern
Reminder Email for unlocking free goods & web functions
Take Toolkit out to Visit London
Customised Toolkit & Select Pick Up Spot
Downloads, Share Notify Friends to Experience, Rating see new sharing Tools
London Info Centre to Pick Up
Website to explore Tools and review travel discoveries
Online Support of Ideas for destination explorations and Tools usage. Using Tools to Explore city. Demand imagination and commitment
Send or retain “samples”of Tools for friend as gifts
Friendʼs Online Sharing & as Gift=Invitation to Join
JOIN FOR FREE
Unique travel experiences recorded and shared, discovery of destination with Tools
Experience of using the Toolkit Toolkit designs are destination-specifc Document online sharing to keep A community of people using the Tools to do something special
Designed layout for travel sharing/Unique experience stories available/ Exploration and Discoveries using Tools
Free Goods after Purchase / Collect Uses of Tools /Free Online Platform to /Share Travel - designed / Option to document or publish entries
Figure 4.23 Final Prototype of Tools
“Emic In London” Toolkit The service involves a Toolkit to be sold. The Tools in the kit is designed to facilitate explorative behaviours as tourist travel in their chosen destination, London. The Tool has simple instructions on the front, and suggestions of how to do it at the back of the cover. Then the Tools will either have designed templates such as in Figure 4.23, or “instruments” (see Figure 4.24) such as designed envelopes. These Tools aim to get the tourist to notice and experience the place around them like they have never before. So that something unique, or personal maybe realised by the tourist, and as such discovering something they enjoyed and is destination-specific to the city they are visiting.
78 // 4.0 Design Process
Figure 4.24 Final Prototype for the Depository
Friendâ€™s Entry Page
80 // 4.0 Design Process
1. It begins as a link, shared on social media, such as facebook, which leads to a web page of the web site, emic.com. Previous encounter with this web site is also available via word-of mouth from friendâ€™s who have used the Tools and the web service.
Home page of emic.com
2. The entry shared becomes a portal, a proper invitation that leads to the Home page,asking the potential user to explore further. At this stage it is clear that the web site relates to travel experiences and some Tools that relates to these experiences
3. Joining is free. A new account has limited functions however, it still allows unlimited access to the Explore page to read other peopleâ€™s sharing of ideas. There will be a limited number of times for adding a new entry and commenting on other entries. This limit will be uplifted by the purchase of a Toolkit.
82 // 4.0 Design Process
4. The Explore page is first and foremost categorised by the types of experience shared. The types of experience is determined by the type of Tools the experience relates to. As a new user, this provides a new and a little mysterious way for them to explore the service as well as the experiences of others
After clicking on any icons on the page, and setting the parameters: such as which city to look at (only a few at the beginning) and the adding some tags to search, the Results will show, with the most viewed entries at the top.
5. A Purchase is finally made, after feeling intrigued and interested in the Tools. Options of buying the Tools in shops are only available in featuring city at the moment, that is London, New York, Sydney. Basic Toolkit with three Tools within cab be purchased.
6. However only online purchases can have a customised option, such as selecting which Tools to have or exchanged. Single Tool can also be bought but buying as a set will be cheaper. Buying online also allows users to specify how they want to pick the Toolkit up. The default choices are local information centres, hotels/ accommodation and home delivery. All at a different price range.
84 // 4.0 Design Process
7. Toolkit can be picked up at a local information centre in London.
8. Have fun with the Tools! As the user travel throughout London, he or she can enjoy the prompts in the Tools to inspire them to be immerse in the cultures and places.
9. Document findings in these Tools. That is what they are for. So that the tourist can recall the memory in the future and not forgot what discoveries they have made about the city, the cultures there or the users themselves.
10. Within the Kit will have a small envelop. This is for the users to share their joy of their experience with their friends and family. They can either set aside blank page at the beginning or send them their most proud results. This is another way of sharing an experience other than the digital platform.
86 // 4.0 Design Process
11. As the Toolkit was purchased online, which would have the information of when the Toolkit need to be delivered by, Emic, is able to send reminder emails to users, to remind them that after their purchase there will be rewards unlocked in their account, such as extra downloads, extended period of account use and free Tool for next purchase. Users can claim their free goods from their own account. Users can now use their other functions in the emic account, such as adding an entry.
12. To claim the free rewards, users are encouraged to share their experience of their travels, how they used the Toolkit and evidence of the use on the web site. Users can customise the way they would like their entry to be layout such as a slideshow format. To complete sharing the experience, users must finish tagging and tagging of at least one related Tool is required to complete the action.
13. Publishing the entry is the last step of the service journey. Loyal users will have more publish options such as saving their entries as pdfs or even publish all their entries as a book. Publishing these entries to share with other is an important step. Often travelblogs remain the format of a blog and can easily be erased out. To be able to safe the entries as if it is a document can really help users to make their experiences last. Options of sharing the address link of the entry to social media is the basic option for all users.
Designed Template and Method to Input Experience Entries // 87
Evaluation The outcome of this project is a type of new service rather than one that can be implemented within a greater system. The strength of this service lies in the way it questions and challenges people to experience places and cultures more than just looking at them. It also challenges the increasing importance of digital technology in our lives, and during the time when one is being a tourist. The aim of the project is to enhance cultural distinctiveness for urban places, especially like large cities that are filled with global development. This project does not mean to challenge or justify to urban growth, but rather challenges the way people perceive and understand places. Tourists can be quite ignorant about the cultures they are visiting at times, whether they are being polite or not. The prompts introduced in this project, do succeed in asking people to stop being concern with where they want to go or do, but start thinking more about their surroundings. The weaker link of this outcome, however may still be the nondigital element. Some informal feedback responses during the early user testing stages were why the outcome is not a mobile application. There was had been consideration before for the outcome to be a mobile application. However, using application would result in a similar behaviour in consuming places with a camera. The world is always viewed through lenses and not with our naked eye. If we cannot even use our naked eye to absorb the surrounding, it seems quite unlikely and unreasonable that
90 // 5.0 Project Conclusions
a service built upon a mobile application should ask people to indulge in their other senses. The final outcome thus become something tactile -asking people to do the most basic things with their senses. Even with the increasing use of smart phone amongst tourists as they travel, there are still more guidebooks and maps being carried around. The senses of using our own hands to do something, even if its just flipping through a book, must make the experience more substantial that swiping a small screen with the tips of our finger. There are also concern of not being able to upload the outcome of using the Tools. This is nevertheless an inconvenient factor for urban people. However, convenience is not the primary issue in this project. If anything, convenience should be the smallest concern because convenience can compensate other factors such as gaining of insights and important discoveries. Further refinement of the web site can help to work out the usersâ€™ path and how they use the online platform. At the moment the website is only a visual communication tool. Further refinements on the several paths a user can take to navigate and understand the service should be made. Prototyping the website is at this stage at a visual level to communicate the service concept only. However, to further test the service concept and refine it, the web platform is crucial as it is the main channel for ther service to speak for itself.
Conclusions and Recommendations The project began firslty by identifying the problem cultural tourism faces as it become more globalised, diminishing the unique qualities of places and smoothening the cultural characteristics of these places into one unifying global culture. From very early on, the project aims to find ways to “restore” cultural distinctiveness in people’s experiences of places as the cultures of a place defines and characterises the place which give it meaning. By collecting data on tourists behaviours, what constitute memorable experiences and the influence of technologies in Tourism, the specific issue of a lack inspirations that instigate other types of tourist explorations is uncovered. In a way, cultural tourists, who already has the mind set on exploring and learning about other cultures, are met with problems of lack of inspirations as traditionally, tourists rely much more on their sense of vision than other kinds of senses. When one is numbed with the idea of seeing more, it is of no use that there are many more places to see. By prompting tourists to use their other senses such as touching, hearing, smelling and feeling, they are also provoked to think socially and culturally about the place they are visitng. The proposal of a service to provides and supports other ways of immersing into one’s surrounding aim to facilitate more sensivity and consciousness towards the local life and cultures as people are visitng the places. By this raised awareness increase interactions between the place the tourists, faciliting perosnal discovery and understanding and therefore increasing the
92 // 5.0 Project Conclusions
disctinctiveness of cultures in the personâ€™s minds, because they begin to find these discoveries and experiences meaningful. Such awareness is already evident within the limited user-feedback collected before the conclusion of the project. In closing, the final approach of this project may seem subtle and â€œnicheâ€? in answering problems caused by globalisation in broad and complex contexts like Culture and Tourism, however it is also a specific and focused attempt to tackle the bigger challenge. This specificity and subtleness correspond to the research which begins looking at the norm to analysing and dissecting the obvious. Often it is these small and minute changes in perceptions and behaviours overtime that makes a visible difference in cultures and society.
Bibliography Anon, Design Council - Co-design. Design Council. Available at: http://www.designcouncil.org.uk/resources-and-events/Designers/Design-Glossar y/Co-design/ [Accessed July 11, 2011].
Anon, 2009. Local Area Tourism Impact report Southwark 2007 data. London Development Agency. Available at:
http://www.lda.gov.uk/publications-and-media/publications/lati.aspx [Accessed July 28, 2011].
Anon, 2006. Ofﬁcial Site of Korea Tourism Org.: [HQ]Tourism Technology, KTOʼs New Tourism Strategy. Korea Be Inspired. Available at: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FU/FU_EN_15.jsp?cid=289722 [Accessed July 14, 2011].
Audiences London, Audiences London : Our Resources : Cultural Tourism - Getting Started. Audiences London. Available at:
http://www.audienceslondon.org/2054/our-resources/cultural-tourism-getting-start ed.html [Accessed July 7, 2011a].
Audiences London, Visit Britain Cultural Tourism Advisory Guide. Audiences London. Available at:
http://www.audienceslondon.org/2009/our-resources/cultural-tourism-how-you-ca n-beneﬁt.html [Accessed July 14, 2011b]. Bennett, A., 2005. Culture and everyday life, London: Sage. Bieger, T and Laesser, C, 2004. Information Sources for TRavel Decisions: Toward a Source Process Model. Journal of Travel Research, (42), pp.357-371. Boniface, P., c2001. Dynamic tourism : journeying with change, Clevedon, Avon: Channel View Publications.
Brown, B, 2007. Working the Problems of Tourism. Annuals of Tourism Research, 34(2), pp.364-383.
Brown, B. and Chalmers, M., 2003. Tourism and mobile technology. ECSCW 2003 Proceedings. Available at: www.ecscw.uni-siegen.de [Accessed July 5, 2011].
Brown, B. and Laurier, E., En-Spacing Technology: Some thoughts on the geographical nature of technology | Mendeley. Mendeley. Available at:
http://www.mendeley.com/research/enspacing-technology-some-thoughts-on-thegeographical-nature-of-technology/ [Accessed June 21, 2011].
94 // Bibliography
Brown, B. and Perry, Mark, 2001. Of maps and guidebooks. ACM Digital Library. Available at: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=567357 [Accessed June 20, 2011].
Coleman, S. and Crang, M., 2002. Tourism : between place and performance,
Oxford: Berghahn Books.
Dust, F. and IDEO, 2008. IDEO Eyes Open: London: A Field Guide for the Curious (Eyes Open) Spi., Chronicle Books.
Epstein, M. and Vergani, S., 2006. Mobile Technologies and Creative Tourism : The History Unwired Pilot Project in Venice Italy. AMCIS 2006 Proceedings.
Available at: http://www.ecscw.uni-siegen.de/2003.htm [Accessed July 8, 2011]. Gretzel, U, 2011. Intelligent Systems in Tourism: A Social Science Perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), pp.757-779. Hjalsger, A.M., 2010. A review of innovation research in tourism. Tourism Management, 31(1), pp.1-12. Hosany, S. and Gilbert, D., Measuring Touristsʼ Emotional Experiences toward Hedonic Holiday Destinations. SAGE journals online. Available at: http://jtr.sagepub.com/content/49/4/513.full.pdf+html [Accessed July 7, 2011].
Jackson, P., 1992. Maps of meaning : an introduction to cultural geography, London: Routledge.
Laurel, B, 2003a. Design research : methods and perspectives, London: MIT Press.
London Development Agency, 2009. London Tourism Action Plan 2009 to 2013 London Development Agency. London Development Agency. Available at:
cessed July 7, 2011].
McKercher, B. an Du Cros, H., 2009. Cultural tourism : the partnership between tourism and cultural heritage management, New York: Routledge.
Murray, C., 2001. Making sense of place : new approaches to place marketing, Shrod: Comedia. Rebecca Hjortegaard Hansen, 2010. The Narrative Nature of Place Branding. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 6(4), pp.268-279.
Richards, G., c2007. Cultural tourism : global and local perspectives, London: Routledge.
Richards, G., Increasing the Attractiveness of Places Through Cultural Resources. Tourism, Culture and Communication, 10, pp.47-58.
Richards, G. and Wilson, J., 2006. Developing Creativity in Tourist Experiences:
A Production to the Serial Reproduction of Culture. Tourism Management, 27(6), pp.1209-1223. Stamboulis, Y. and Skayannis P., 2003. Innovation Strategies and technology for experience-based tourism. Tourism Management, 24(1), pp.35-43.
The Gallup Organization, Hungary, Survey on the attitudes of Europeans towards tourism 2011 | iftta.org. Available at:
http://iftta.org/content/survey-attitudes-europeans-towards-tourism-2011 [Accessed August 24, 2011]. TNS Travel & Tourism, 2008. London Visitor Survey - London Development
Agency. London Development Agency. Available at: http://www.lda.gov.uk/publications-and-media/publications/london-visitor-survey.a spx [Accessed July 7, 2011].
Urry, J., 2007. Mobilities, Cambridge: Polity. Urry, J., 2006. Tourist gaze 2nd ed., London: SAGE. Visocky O始Grady, J and Visocky O始Grady, K, A Designer始s Research Manual: Succeed in Design by Knowing Your Clients and What They Really Need, USA: Rockport Publishers.
Witherford Watson Mann Architects, Bankside Urban Forest Framework Document. Available at: http://www.betterbankside.co.uk/bankside-urban-forest.
96 // Bibliography
Appendices Appendix 1 Online Survey: Trip Planning and Decision-Making Practice Date: 9-12Jul, 2011 Rationale: A preliminary understanding of how tourists perceive their planning processes and to identify the typical resources and sources of motivations and information as they make prepare for their trip. The survey was primarily sent to an audience aged between 20 to 35 year old via social media, as they are the most group mostly to be influenced by technology during travel. Questions: 1. Can you please describe the process you often go through as you start to plan for a leisure trip? 2. What kind of resources (e.g. hardware: guidebooks, tourist board brochures, computer, smart-phones etc & software: name or type of websites, apps etc) would you use as you make your plans? 3. Can you describe the process you often go through as you make more/ amend plans of where to go after you have arrived at the destination? 4. e.g.: do you need more information? Where do you get the information from? How do you decide where to go first and next? What helps you make these decisions while you are at the destination? 5. What resources do you use or have available to you when you make further plans while you are at the destination? 6. e.g.: what hardware and software do you use? Where do you obtain them? Is there any extra or new resources that you can use while you are abroad? How do you know where to find these new resources to help you? 7. What images or texts or media etc. would inspire or motivate you to visit a particular attraction? Please describe. 8. What are the sources/origins of these images/texts/media etc mentioned in Question 5? Responses: A sample of 16 responses were gathered from this survey
SAMPLES Response 1 1. Can you please describe the process you often go through as you start to plan for a leisure trip? I have never really planned a trip myself so I guess this part doesnâ€™t really apply to me. 2. What kind of resources (e.g. hardware: guidebooks, tourist board brochures, computer, smartphones etc & software: name or type of websites, apps etc) would you use as you make your plans? Online search engine eg lastminute.com, wikitravel, tripadvisor etc, travel guides, word of mouth from friends who have been to the place of interest. 3. Can you describe the process you often go through as you make more/ amend plans of where to go after you have arrived at the destination? e.g.: do you need more information? Where do you get the information from? How do you decide where to go first and next? What helps you make these decisions while you are at the destination? Tourist information centre at airport, train stations or hotel. 4. What resources do you use or have available to you when you make further plans while you are at the destination? e.g.: what hardware and software do you use? Where do you obtain them? Is there any extra or new resources that you can use while you are abroad? How do you know where to find these new resources to help you? No Response 5. What images or texts or media etc. would inspire or motivate you to visit a particular attraction? Please describe. Photos, movies, offers on newspaper, adverts. 6. What are the sources/origins of these images/texts/media etc mentioned in Question 5? Newspapers, magazines, adverts on public
98 // Appendices
Response 2 Can you please describe the process you often go through as you start to plan for a leisure trip? Think of place to go, who to go with (or by myself), when is best to go, can I take annual leave at that time, places I want to visit there, where to live, how much to bring, how to travel around there, ask ppl to lend me tourist guide books What kind of resources (e.g. hardware: guidebooks, tourist board brochures, computer, smartphones etc & software: name or type of websites, apps etc) would you use as you make your plans? websites, maps, brochures, guidebooks Can you describe the process you often go through as you make more/amend plans of where to go after you have arrived at the destination? e.g.: do you need more information? Where do you get the information from? How do you decide where to go first and next? What helps you make these decisions while you are at the destination? ask the hostel/hotel staff, ask for maps and tourist attractions at the airport, check what days the places are free/closed, go to places nearby on the same day, whether I want to go there at daytime/nightime, would it be affected if it rains What resources do you use or have available to you when you make further plans while you are at the destination? e.g.: what hardware and software do you use? Where do you obtain them? Is there any extra or new resources that you can use while you are abroad? How do you know where to find these new resources to help you? brochures, maps, internet, ask people What images or texts or media etc. would inspire or motivate you to visit a particular attraction? Please describe. cheap price :P beautiful scenary, lots to see/do there What are the sources/origins of these images/texts/media etc mentioned in Question 5? posters, internet, facebook photos haha
Appendix 2 Expert Interview 1: Greg - Senior Information Staff at London Visitor Centre Date: 13th August, 2011 Rationale: The purpose of this interview is to gain their expert insights into the tourist’s most common questions and issues, trends in sight-seeing, and the services they provide their customers. The interview is conducted with one of the information staff from the Britain and London Visitor Centre, a place that deals with tourists closely everyday to answer their enquiries about London. Greg- Has over 7 years of professional experience in London tourism industry Semi-structured Interview Question: 1. What common questions do tourists often ask you, especially in regards to experiencing London cultures? Their questions, issues and problems? 2. What types of tourist do you often receive in different times of the day, week and year? 3. Do you recommend any digital/technological services to tourists? What are their purpose? 4. What are the most popular cultural tourism services and products among the tourists you’ve encountered? 5. What is the current trend in the way tourists visit London, .e.g. preferences of areas to explore, the methods they use to explore them? 6. What were the meaningful aspects of your job in regards to helping tourists experiencing London? And what are the difficult aspects? 7. What are the most common complaints/feedback from the tourists visiting London? 8. What promotions/marketing campaigns/innovations etc. have been introduced to communicate London’s cultures to its tourists? What were the achievements? 9. What is the relationship between your organisation and the tourism authority and the tourism providers? What is the role of your organisation? 10. What are the challenges facing London tourism at the moment? Problems, struggles, particular interests? What areas is considered “underdeveloped”?
100 // Appendices
Transcript: J: Researcher, G= Greg, the Information Staff J: What common questions do tourists often ask you, especially in regards to experiencing London cultures? Their questions, issues and problems? G: Well, you can imagine... they may have a problem with accommodation primarily, particularly if booked on a website, this is not just a problem in this country, it’s an international problem. They are buying something unseen on a website, you don’t know until you get there but it’s not exactly what you thought you should be. Quality and standard not as expected. The law in this country says, you have obligations, you pay it’s a contract. If you go to the accommodation and you don’t want to stay there, that is too bad. More negative particularly when they come here and there is no other choice they can go to... J: Do they book through the website? Well they can book from anywhere. But we recommend them to book through the referral sites with rating systems, e.g. on Visit England, the trusted sites that shows guarantees or promise of quality. So we will tell them go and check on Visit London, or Visit Britain, Visit England. Quality issue as there is no legal obligations for hotels/accommodation to join a rating system or not... Another problem they have also with booking on the internet, although it is a fantastic way to buy things for the holiday, websites for concert or theatre tickets that don’t exist... J: Would you say this is the more common way to buy tourism products now? I have no way of knowing. We find that many many people would come to us to complain.They have their own way of rating things. The problem here mostly would be with the internet. J: Do people ask you for advise on what to do? How do you answer questions like “what sort of things to do in London”? We answer in a partial way. J: for example if they come to you and ask you oh I want to explore London’s culture. G: They wouldn’t ask this particular question. They would ask about a particular museum and ... We find that the questions we often get asked are very very vague, or super precise. Either question like: what would be most important to do in London or, question like: what is the opening hour for an attraction? J: pattern of types of tourists throughout the year G: On Bank Holidays like Easter, there will be more Europeans, taking 3 or 4 days holiday. In summer, we have more southern Europeans who tends to take a very long holidays in August. In July and August, more Spanish and Italians, and they tend to take a very long holiday, like a month. And in September, travel prices tend to go down, we have more old people (retired) and student. Retired with money but not wanting to pay peak season prices. We get a lot of “spikes” of demand for our services for particular time like Easter, Christmas, end of the year and minor spikes for bank holidays. We get more independent travelers here, family with kids, groups of friends coming here. We don’t get bus tour groups, mass tourists coming here, like a group of chinese and Japanese. We don’t see them. They are taken everywhere. They know all their stop. They are
catered for in every sense. they are not independent. J: You already said you recommend their official websites. Do you have any other digital services to recommend tourists? G: Yes... facebook, twitter. (What do they do?) I’m not sure, I’m not a digital marketing person, there are...Visit Britain is launching the iplayer is going out of the country, if you got an ipad you will be able to access Britain media, you will be able to access UK films, TVs...to see the programs from BBC, as a lot of inspirations to visit Britain comes from the movies... sherlock holmes, Enjoy England one of the system of the tourist board family, that have got this thing as well,so ENjoy England have got the QR code reader, most people have got a smartphone these days and if you got an ipad you can get the app which is things to do they are still trying these things another one they are trying is with Android, like a london database thing... J: DO you know where I can find statistics on how the application is doing? G: That will be from the Enjoy England’s digital marketing team. There is so many technologies developing, so they are investing in a lot of different areas, they can’t invest in 100% in one thing, because you don’t know what would win out in the end. So there is all this exploration here and there. Digital world can only get bigger, demand for pay services is still high as it used to be. (do you think it has helped you in your job in anyway?) No. Except for the internet of course. A lot of trouble it still costs when there are viral problems or system failure. Not very often but when it happens, it’s a big problem and it can happen here and there. It’s only a machine. You will ask a person. You wouldn’t ask a machine the best way to go in Oxford, the best things to do. You won’t get advice from them. J: Any popular cultural tourism products services among tourists? G: It’s very broad question. Britain is generally score quite high. It’s score in the world, there is a ranking in the world or something. Only cultural rivals are France, Spain, Italy, typically, not sure of the order. Culture is all different. It would be cuisines or the museums - lifestyles, culture is understood differently by different people. It could be the fabric of the city that are seen by the tourists. But we do score very highly. London is marketed differently almost like a separete country to the rest of the country, the imagery used is very different. It is vibrant youth destination, and has a youth culture as well as .... to the rest of the country. Tourists may also read from a book to be influenced. Sometimes people come to us with absolutely no idea about the country. We give advice depending on various limitations the tourists are having like time... where to good to spend a day or two.. and how to get there... they want to go somewhere and they dont know where. We know that its a lovely country. But for others, they don’t have an idea of what it looks like. J: Do you feel that tourists have a very different impressions of UK and London? G: We always have to separate the short haul market and the long haul market. Short haul markets - Belgium, Netherlands. Who have a very clear idea about what their country looks like. Or long haul like Russia, who has no idea what it looks like. J: Trends, in the way tourist visit London. G: We don’t really receive trends but we have an insight team. We will get some news on trends from a newsletter done by the insight team. You can subscribe to it. Our internal industry update. You can subscribe it, its an industry service, a way to get knowledge out. Visit BRitain to just sign up.
102 // Appendices
From my perception however, the collection of the London Pass, has became fairly popular among tourists. Words spreads, and people just wanting to buy it. A few years ago also, the people wanting to ride bicycles in the city started with the congestion charge but after the barclay’s bicycles. A lot more people asking about paying for the barclay bikes now. Also the movie tours, for Harry Potter. (showing me a brochure of the london tours) Continues to be much in demand. There is always the Ghosts one, but now they have the Harry Potter as a new product which I think is largely the result of the movies which added the demand...thats a private company doing that. J: In terms of preferences of areas... G: Not much different. Westminster, Camden seeing increase a fews ago nobody know where Camden was, now people come and ask about it. Also Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch...Also demand cos of Football, the Premier League people wants to see the stadium, like Chelsea... see it with a British match... (Youth culture refers to Music and Fashion), you know London is quite a leading role in these... Beatles now, Rock’n’Roll... [Greg is completely unaware of the Cultural Olympiad 4-year Event...] J: How Southbank/Bankside does among tourists? G: It’s a relatively new destination in London for the tourists. The problem used be is that Southbank is very long and it is shared by several boroughs which all have different priorities in regards to borough developments...Several groups which either are looking at tourism or not looking at all... Southwark is very active in development, has lots more strategies, producing websites, walks along Southbank... lots of community groups..., funding is a challenge for them... they used to run a bike/info service won an award for that... lambeth has done very little... (Do tourists ask about it?) Well...rather than Southbank as a concept... its individual attractions are being asked like Tate modern or borough market, national theatre, london eye... which happens to be a string of things on the southbank, which of course the tourists realise very quickly there is some kind of thing going on there... Pretty specifically, Millennium Bridge and London Eye have transformed the landscape of the southbank... Millennium Bridge and Tate modern opened on the same year, and they became the new reasons for people to go to those places. It’s worked for the city of London. Before the bridge that area is quiet, after the bridge, constant stream of traffic going both ways which has turns into potential. It means when people come from the tate modern from the bridge to st pauls they also turn right instead of just turn left... you know what I mean, there is no reason to go there before...St Pauls then make it south then there is nothing... now they have shopping centres, you’ve got other things going on now... its not a transformation, but more a gradual process. It’s interesting how Tate Modern bring people in, changing the Globe which doesn’t before (as it wasn’t an attraction)one by one these things have been built from the last 7 to 15 years... which transform the scene... and thats not because somebody planned it, it just grows... it just kind of happened, no one direct this... J: Tourist Board... G: In charge of marketing and promotion thats what they do... J: But then you have also a lot of providers of services, separate and private which are not organised by anybody.. how does it all this work together.. G: Well its organic... it just an evolutionary process.. it just takes all more in the big name or an
attraction or event to transform a whole area... London Eye for example that came along suddenly theres more of other things...One big thing built privately and transform that bit, and then all hell break lose, absolutely no roots at all... now there are more galleries... and now more thinks to do...and now they realise that they should organise themselves and market themselves and so they do... but it’s after all this happened... J: so it’s because of what happened, happened, then they market it in a way ... G: Yeah... so it’s like “you scratch my back, now I will scratch yours” kind of way.. one example, like city of london and the southwark, now they talk to each other, before they didn’t... they do things to together... City of London talk to Southbank borough.. Southwark, to their tourism office, much more closely than before... now there are initiatives going on... area promotion brochures of information... but it’s all after the event...what else is happening... next year.. from Greenwich they going to have a cable car to the northern side of the river for the olympics... another example is the Dome... which is not a big success.. but the O2 centre is... which bring so many people to the area... huge facility... its a multi-purpose exhibition venue.. a concert venue... very successful interactive music museum... J: What do you enjoyment most about your job? G: Lots of contact with different people, and different routines everyday, I’m happy everyday. My training in languages and I get to use them everyday. J: Any aspect of your job that you least favored? G: Certain expectations for what we have and meet some “interesting” people occasionally which cannot be avoided given the openness and location of our office...Anyone can walk in... J: What are the common complaints from tourists? G: The prices. There is not much protection for consumer here. London has a reputation of high prices and low quality. J: How is London being promoted outside of UK? G: Usually it’s Television, but you can only see that outside of London. The Mayor also promotes it. The DCMS, only looks at Tourism Strategy in Britain for inbound marketing. But they should have also looked at the outbound markets. J: What are the biggest challenge for London Tourism at the moment? G: Price competitiveness, there is always complaints for the prices here. Always get asked about the costs... Also safety... That’s about it... (how about the attractions? any challenges there?) Well, there’s no shortage of reasons to come to London... J: That’s all, thank you Greg.
104 // Appendices
Appendix 3 Semi-Structured Interview: Processes and Practices of Visiting Tourists Date: 2nd - 3rd August, 2011 Rationale: To get a general idea of how people make their decisions on visiting attractions and how do they plan their days as they are visiting London. It also explores what kinds of tools do they use in their decision-making and understanding of the place they are visiting. Interviews are first conducted at the entrance square of the British Museum, Tate Modern, then in Trafalgar Square, in front of the National Gallery, as well as in Covent Garden. The choice of these locations is made because of the abundance of cultural tourists expected to be there due to the cultural, heritage, monumental and iconic status of the attractions.
The interviews are documented as audio files and are available within the folder â€œSemi-Structured Interviewsâ€? in the enclosed CD-Rom. Two interviews are documented as transcripts in the following pages, as one does not have an available audio recording and the other requires to be translated from Mandarin Chinese. The interviews follow the questions below as a framework only and where appropriate improvisations are made to ensure the interviewees understand the questions and/or to help them elaborate more on their answers in order to obtain more perspectives on the research topic. Questions: 1. What should I call you? Are you on vacation or business? Are you traveling with anyone? 2. Is this your first time visiting this part of London? 3. How long is your stay in London? 4. Do you have any expectations of this visit in London? Expectation of the kind of experience while being here? 5. Can you describe briefly how you have planned your trip from the beginning? Have you got any notes you are using now? What sources have you looked at or researched from? 6. Why have you decided to come here today? 7. How did you learn about this place/attraction? 8. What else would inspire/motivate you to go to see a particular cultural
attraction? What would make you interested to see or experience while you are in London? 9. Are you using any technology or tools (for example, guidebooks, maps, gps. wifi etc) to help you decide what to see while you in London? Where did you get these from? 10. How do you use them as you visit London? 11. If you can add any extra function to this tool/technology, what would it be? 12. Can I please take a picture of you? And the tools/technology you are using? Responses: A sample of 20 responses were gathered from this survey Transcript: A group of Chinese tourists from Beijing taking a rest outside British Museum. As they don’t speak English, so the interview was conducted in Mandarin. There were two men and a lady, and the interview was conducted with one of the two men and the lady who understood a bit of English. What have you come to the museum today? Because it is very famous. Where did you learn about this place? In the books. Tourist guides as well. (man): This place has a lot of artifacts from different countries, so we don’t have to travel to a lot of places to see them, it’s all in the museum. What would inspire you to see a particular attraction in London? The sort of images or texts? Heard from other people and descriptions from books. How do you plan your trip in London? First day, we come here (to the museum). Second day, we planned to join those one day tour that takes us to the different attractions. So did you make this plan while you are in London? Or have you made this plan before you came to London? Almost as planned before we came to London.(man): we were in Scotland to do some interviews as well, and then we were to go back to Beijing. But since we have a bit of time, before we go back, so we decided to come round to London. We came as a group of four people. Before you came here, did you look at anything about London? Books like tourist guides that talks about England. It introduced a lot of museums in London, but as we have only a limited time so we have decided to see the most famous museum - the British Museum. So, we want to also visit the more famous attractions like the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace etc.
106 // Appendices
So how did you find this place today? Probably by the tube, because we were on the tube and then we asked people there. We also have a map to help us. But basically when we have a rough direction, we will ask people for more detail directions. So do you have the map that you are using with you? We only have the tube map, the small one. Are you only using this to help you go around London? Yesterday, we mainly came up from the tube station near where we are staying, and asked the local police and the staff at the tube station and asked them which station to get off, and how to get to the destination. Not that the police know how to get to here, but we asked a pedestrian and he gave us directions to get to here. We also used the maps on the street to help us. Did you see anything on the map on the street that make you want to visit other attractions? No not really, because we have only limited time, so we mostly stick to our original plans, you know as we only have two or three days here... This is all. Thank you very much for your help.
Appendix 4 Shadow Studies Report Methodology: By closely following each study group of tourists visiting London for two days, observing their individual and group behaviours with each other, people around them, the tourism objects they interacted with that are relevant for the aim of this study and the visiting environment. Field notes, still photographs and videorecordings were used to document the findings. Assumptions: Tourists are emotional dynamic beings, easily influenced by their own emotions, their environments, and interactions with each other All tourists studied are visiting for leisure Group One: The first group of tourists studied, were a group of family of five, two brothers A&C, their wives B&D, all above 50 year old and one of the couple’s mid-twenties daughter (called E) who had been studying in London for the past eight months. The family was from Brazil and apart from the daughter, everybody else in the group spoke limited English and were unfamiliar with London. Below are the observations and findings for the one day of shadowing conducted with group one: Day One - Sunday, 7th August 2011, 1pm - 7pm The family had just walked from across the Southbank to visit St Paul Cathedral. The family had a catholic background (previous information from the daughter), thus had some religious interests in the church as they discussed about the church animatedly to each other inside the cathedral. Tourist B, also participated in lighting a candle in the church which was part of the catholic “customs”. This further participation of Tourist B, could be understood as influenced by her personal religious background, but may also be a tourist act that ties to her religious background. Lunch was consumed after visiting St Paul, and E, took her family to Costa, which was located nearby the cathedral. The group’s choice of the restaurant was quick and decisive, which seemed to be due to the shop’s proximaty to the cathedral, the lack of variety of other choices nearby, and also possibly due largely to the growing heaviness of the rain. The group is also not very picky of the food options within the shop. As the daughter explained to me later, Costa and other cafes of the like were not common in Brazil, hence their decisiveness could also be due to the desire to “try it for the first time”. During Lunch, the daughter shared with me her plan for the day. She explained that she had asked her family where they would like to go and what they would like to do while in London for two days, as well as throwing in a few decisions of her own of what she believed they should see in London. She had looked at the map at all the places they “needed” to go and then divided them in terms of their locations on the map, separeted them in two groups for each day, approximately a group belonging to the east and the other to the west (only relatively on the map, not geographically in east or west London). She also revealed that she would like to take her family to Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden for dinner tonight.
108 // Appendices
Tools To help herself navigate, she had a small London guidebook given by her father who had picked it up from Heathrow Airport as they arrived the day before and a piece of printed paper with shopping items and the addresses of the corresponding shops. The pocket size free guidebook had a small map of London abled to be unfolded into a larger size (less than A4, more than A5), which had all the major attractions highlighted and major streets and parks named. She specifically marked an “X” for Jamie’s Italian restaurant to indicate an accurate but approximate location on the map. She also written a rough itinerary for the two days, as a reminded to herself of her planning. At this stage, the planing shown were rough and preliminary, giving a rough idea to the daugher, enough flexibility to add, minus and alter her planning as she sees fit. As she had wanted to take her family to Jamie’s Italian in Covent Garden, this had become the “final” destination of the journey she planned and hence whatever changes she might make would be using this as a decision factor - that is how to arrive at this point in the end. Her planning at this stage were also shown to have influenced by some destinations that must be covered that day - the items on the shopping list, which were definite points that they must travel to. The specificity of these destination reflects the specificity of the items, e.g. today they must arrive at Tottenham Court Road to buy a camera at Jessops. These points are definitive, perhaps also due to the knowledge of the daughter of where to get those items were limited. It also shows the the depth of the research done for these items were important to the general planning of the trip as the daughter plans the route. Points on the journey which they must past through (the addresses on the shopping list for the specific items) and end up (the final destination of the day), anything else that needs to be covered can be altered around these points Changing itinerary occurred, as the raining started to get heavier and the daughter was reconsidering her “route”. First of many occasions during the day as she think of what best to do when the weather turned bad, yet at the same time trying to cover what she felt were “important” determine by the attraction’s popularity and the enjoyment factor she predicted would be with her family as well as the shopping she must take her family to do. As the daughter wanted to discuss with me, rather than with her family, indicated the trust and reliance she felt knowing that I know the area as well (or as much)as she did, thus giving her the impression that to discuss with me would be more “productive” than with her family who didn’t know London at all. Her considerations here were, where to go next after lunch, as she had planned the British Museum, Soho/Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden as the two attractions for the day, where in between she must cover Tottenham Court Road for the shopping. Her original planning was first Covent Garden then British Museum, Soho/Trafalgar and back to Covent Garden for dinner. However, as it was Sunday, and it’s almost 1:30pm, she must reconsider her options since everything close earlier on Sunday. Thus her planning was also constrained by opening hours, and how to get between places in the most time-efficient way. She took her map out from the guidebook, and started forming the alternatives in head, using her finger the markers on the maps to formulate. Her consideration included distances between attractions, mode of transport available to take them between places, as well as finding the current locations on the map and the street they were on. As she had decided her new route to go the Museum first as it was indoors, which could avoid the heavy rain at the moment, she required some assurance from me. This need for assurance gave her confidence to pursue her route further. She then proceeded to “update” her piece of itinerary paper, a act for herself to record her plans to refer to later. Then she explained to her family, where they were going next at which point they were all agreeing. As she explained to her family were they would go next, she used her map and her body
gestures (mainly her hands) to indicate where about their next destinations were and how they would go there. However, since her family didn’t know much about the geography of london, her body language were more a reassurance to herself, rather than to her family. On the way to the Museum, the daughter took her family to Tottenham Court Road to by the camera, as she figured the shop being researched by her uncle (on the shopping list) was on the way. This destination was a specific one, an example which E had to alter her plans and routes around - a static, non-flexible one. By around 3pm, the family had arrived near the British Museum. During the journey from St Paul to the museum, the daughter had consulted the map until she found the street that the museum was on. On the way however, her family were quite attracted to some of the shops and were often sidetracked to take a look at the products, products which they were family with and could talk about, relating to their knowledge or their background, eg. the Liquor shop displaying a lot of pretty looking bottles of wine. The family were “just in time” as A put it, as the rain grew much heavier once the family went into the museum. E, grabbed four maps of the musuem straight away and distributed them to her family. They all opened up the museum map at once and studied the floorplan. E, had made suggestions of where to go first in the museum, found the section of the museum that they wanted to see, and folded the map down into a portable size again to better hold the map. After some group discussions where all members participated, they reached a unified decision of where to go first. E later explained to me that her mother, B and her aunt D, had been looking forward to see the Egyptian exhibits, and hence their tour of the British Museum would be mainly focusing on this topic. Also due to time, they did not consider seeing other parts of the museum. This showed that previous knowledge of the museum had affects on the way the family experience the museum and the efficiency of their decisions Tourists Behaviours The family was taking pictures of the artefacts and themselves animatedly, especially the daughter’s mother who had a great interest in Ancient Egyptian civilisation. This common act among tourists of taking pictures of and with museum artefacts and interiors, demonstrated the way tourist “consume” these places, by capturing these experiences in photography. These photographs may later be documentated or recorded memories of their journey in London, a reminder for what had happened, and evidence that they have done something while they are in London, evidence of their being and participation in London. After walking through the Egyptian sections in the museum, the family retired back to the Great Hall, where all except for the daughter went in and explore the souvenir shop at the bottom of the central tower. The daughter expressed her mum’s desire to buy something “Egyptian” perhaps jewelry. The exploration of the shop seemed to be an extension of retaining this experience, using objects to mark their participation and consumption of London’s number one attraction. The daughter, as she sat outside the shop, sitting and resting, expressed her tireness from the walking verbally, as well as revealing that her uncle and aunt were feeling tired as well, which made her to reconsider again of the rest of her route. It was apparent that she wanted to make this journey comfortable for her family as she considered finding a “nice cafe” for afternoon tea where everybody could take a rest. Her previous knowledge of a nice cafe in Holborn took her mind for a second, as she considered taking them there for a nice rest, albeit this path being opposite to the other attractions she had planned for the family. She then further considered alternatives in Covent Garden as she recalled that there were some nice cafes there as well, which was a more convenient option. Finally, she abandoned the Holborn option and continued with visiting Covent Garden.
110 // Appendices
Way-finding technology The family was later joined by the daughter’s friend, F, another student studying in London for less than a month. As the daughter knew that the museum and Covent Garden were within walking distances from each other (by her map), she decided to get there on foot, however she must figure out the best way to go there as her family were feeling tired. Her map however, was not clear to her which street they were exactly on from the museum entrance, and it also didn’t name all the smaller streets on the way. E and F then utilised the TFL street map located outside the entrance of the Museum and figured their way from that. The TFL map was a map of bigger scale, which indicated all the major sites and streets within a 5 minute walk radius with a smaller one above it showing everything a 15 minutes walk radius. Together, the two collaboratively read the map and also found corresponding streets on the daughter’s map so they would know which street to look for as they walk towards Covent Garden. As the group moved towards Covent Garden, B and D were attracted to the souvenir shop on a street near the museum. The group temporarily stopped there where B and D explored the shop for anything they would like. As the shop was elegant and indicated that they sell London or related products, it yet suggests the tourists desire to bring “a piece of” where they have been back home. A trophy to mark this experience. Apple Store Shop were starting to close, as the group arrived in Covent Garden at around 5. The daughter took the family straight to the Apple Store there to purchase another item that was on her uncle’s shopping list. She later revealed that the address found by her uncle was on Regent’s Street, however since she knew there was one in Covent Garden and that it fit with the itinerary, she decided to take them here to buy the item instead. Her knowledge of the area enabled her to fit this destination point into the route, however this suggested that since her knowledge provided her options, the particular item became less “static” as the other items that she was not familiar with. The quality of this item became more “fluid” in the context of planning as she could fit it on either day one or two, as the item could be obtained from more than one location. Rigidity of the minor destinations of the products change as the leader/guide/planner have more options than one address for each item from her prior knowledge of the area The family also wanted to buy flower bud tea in London, and the daughter knew of two shops in the area that sold them, one in Covent Garden and the other in China Town. She would’ve taken her family to China Town to buy the tea in her original plan as she had planned to take her family to Soho and she knew of the tea was sold cheaper there. However, as most shops were already closing, she was not sure if it’s worth the risk to travel all the way to Soho to buy the tea. Not to mention, this would be inconvenient for them as they were planning to have Jamie’s Italian for dinner near Covent Garden. Some frustrations were shown on the daughter’s facial expression, as she couldn’t make a decision. This indicated the negative feelings that a lack of information may cause people, when they were making decisions. Her decisions were complicated by her consideration of the tiredness of her family, the uncertainty of whether the shop in China Town close as early as the shops in Covent Garden, the desire to buy for a cheaper price in the China Town shop (perhaps), the fear of disappointment if the shop in China Town was closed once they got there, and the disappointment of not buying anything in the end due to her judgement. She finally consulted her trouble to her family to let them make the decision, and they finally decided to go and see the Covent Garden tea shop first, where they eventually bought the tea they wanted. At their “final” stop at Jamie’s Italian, the group was met with another decision that extended their final journey of the day. As they didn’t book and it was a popular restaurant, the waitress informed them that they had to wait at least 45 minutes for a table. However, due to the group’s tiredness and hunger, they decided not to wait and wanted to consider something else. They
hoped to find something nearby due to their condition, however, as they had no information of the area or the restaurants there, the “search” seemed to be slow and aimless, and the daughter quickly abandoned the idea of searching and asking the restaurants nearby. By this time the daughter clearly stated to me that she was “very tired from making decisions” and asked me if I could make suggestions and take them somewhere to eat. They all agreed quickly to my suggestion of finding a restaurant to eat in China Town where we quickly found seats in a chinese restaurant and settled. General Observation: Specific points - destinations non-flexible Journeys and planning were made around these fixed destinations, where the paths were considered part of the tourist experience (what to do and see along the way) but were much more flexible than the fixed destinations/places that were commonly addresses for specific products. Key Ideas: Hat: Prior Knowledge Book: Maps and Guides Glasses: Assessment of current situation Heart: Spontaneity, desires, emotions
Group Two The second shadow study was conducted on primarily an Australian tourist, Phil and his friends who were living in London. Phil had been in London once before and stated that he had done most of the “touristy” things on that trip. The purpose of his trip this time, therefore would focus more on the food and drink of the city. Phil would be considered a very specialised tourist as he came to London to pursue his interest in culinary experiences, which would be extremely destination-specific. He however would be accompanied by his friends living in London, who would take him to the experiences he researched about. His friends, Lil and Haz had been in London for over a year, and had a better knowledge of the city than him but would not be considered as “locals”. Below are the findings of shadowing conducted with tourist Phil and his friends: Day One - Sunday, 10th August 2011, 3pm - 6pm Phil’s friend, Lil, revealed that they were on a mission to taste the best coffees in London then to eat at a famous restaurant St John on the night. Phil had done his research on Timeout, and selected four to five cafes that was recommended, written on a list and given to Lil and Haz to sort out how best to cover them all. The navigation of finding the cafes were primarily led by Lil and Haz, who both used their smartphones and Google Maps to guide the way. Lil and Haz both discussed and decided which cafes they should visit first, based on the cafes’ distances and they also decided the route to get there. Their existing knowledge of the area also allowed them to make choices based on whether the surrounding area were enjoyable to see. Each time the group moved on from one cafe, the group would re-orient themselves, and briefly discuss where their next stop should be. Phil’s behaviours, as he journeyed between the cafes were mainly photographing the cafes that he had visited and showing interests in the culinary places that were along the way. The final decision to go or not was made by Phil, despite the fact that he was seldom involved in the navigation. This relationship was similar to a group of tourist following a guide, although in this case Phil has two guides. The group’s journey is mission-driven with specific destinations despite there is not a fixed
112 // Appendices
itinerary. Most of the decisions made were essential ones that determined “where to go next” and “how to get there”. However, as the cafe list was followed quite closely, there had not been any spontaneous decisions made during the study. The only exception was when the last cafe visited had already closed upon arrival, the group had to make a decision of how to spend the extra time at their hands before the time of their dinner booking. This decision took the longest to make, as they did not have any idea and the time and place they were in did not allow them to find another cafe to try. After about 10 minutes, the group decided to go to their dinner booking earlier to settle down and wait. The findings A tourist’s personal interest could characterise how he chose to visit and consume a place. Phil’s interest in coffee, led him to create this “coffee” trip and his determination to try out all the recommended cafes in the list have diminished the need for him to make any emotional or spontaneous decisions or change of plan. He had remained true to the “mission.” The group dynamics between the three revealed a sense of trust and dependence as Phil seldom question Lil or Haz’s decisions in their navigation, which showed a sense of cooperation and collaboration.
Appendix 5 Online Survey: Meaningful Experience and Places Date: 9-12Jul, 2011 Rationale: To identify what constitute a meaningful experience of places, whether these are negative or positive memories. Questions: 1. Please answer the following about yourself: Gender, Age, Occupation, Highest Education Level 2. What is the favourite place you have visited as a tourist which you would strongly recommend to others? 3. What would you recommend about the destination you mentioned in Question 2? 4. Which of the destination you have visited would you revisit again and why do you want to revisit it again? (it can be a different destination to Question 2) 5. Please describe a positive, memorable and meaningful experience you had as a tourist where you felt you have learnt/discovered/explored something important or new about a culture or a place which you were not familiar with before. (This experience does not have to link with the destinations you mentioned above.) 6. Please tell me what happened, where and when it took place, who were involve in your experience and what you have learnt/discovered/explored. 7. How memorable and meaningful is this experience for you described in Question 5? How has it impacted on you, or your perception about certain things/countries/people/the particular place? 8. Please describe what this experience (described in Question 5) made you feel, towards the culture or country you were visiting? 9. Please attach a picture which captured the experience you have described and email to firstname.lastname@example.org: when you have sent please answer, please tick â€œYESâ€? 10. Please describe a negative experience you had while visiting a destination (this can be experience from another destination not mentioned before, or the same, please state clearly). What made this negative for you? 11. How did you feel about this negative experience mentioned in question 9? Responses: A sample of 20 responses were collected.
114 // Appendices
SAMPLES Response 1 1. Please answer the following about yourself. Gender - F, Age - 28, Occupation - Public Affairs, Highest Education Level - Master 2. What is the favourite place you have visited as a tourist which you would strongly recommend to others? 3. What would you recommend about the destination you mentioned in Question 2? The beaches, islands, cruises, musically talented and fun locals 4. Which of the destination you have visited would you revisit again and why do you want to revisit it again? (it can be a different destination to Question 2) China - love of my homeland and people 5. Please describe a positive, memorable and meaningful experience you had as a tourist where you felt you have learnt/discovered/explored something important or new about a culture or a place which you were not familiar with before. (This experience does not have to link with the destinations you mentioned above.) Please tell me what happened, where and when it took place, who were involve in your experience and what you have learnt/discovered/explored. Following local in Fiji to explore real life 6. How memorable and meaningful is this experience for you described in Question 5? How has it impacted on you, or your perception about certain things/countries/ people/the particular place? Just overall more understanding and appreciation of different cultures and lifestyle. 7. Please describe what this experience (described in Question 5) made you feel, towards the culture or country you were visiting Extremely relaxed, family and group oriented, less personal ego but group centred. So its very different from Western cultures. 8. Please attach a picture which captured the experience you have described and email to email@example.com: when you have sent please answer, please tick “YES” 9. Please describe a negative experience you had while visiting a destination (this can be experience from another destination not mentioned before, or the same, please state clearly). What made this negative for you? Maybe the only negative experience I’ve ever had was Chime Long Theme Park in China Panyu, I was enjoying it so much but the people I went were so scared of the rides I didnt think they enjoyed as much as I did 10. How did you feel about this negative experience mentioned in question 9? Felt a bit sorry for the friends who didnt get the most out of it.
Response 2 1. Please answer the following about yourself. Gender - Female, Age - 26, Occupation - Designer, Highest Education Level Bachelors 2. What is the favourite place you have visited as a tourist which you would strongly recommend to others? Italy 3. What would you recommend about the destination you mentioned in Question 2? It’s beautiful, the people are warm and friendly and the food is amazing 4. Which of the destination you have visited would you revisit again and why do you want to revisit it again? (it can be a different destination to Question 2) Spain, I don’t feel like i experienced it properly. Didn’t have the most pleasant experience with the people and the food. So I would like to go back and rexplore 5. Please describe a positive, memorable and meaningful experience you had as a tourist where you felt you have learnt/discovered/explored something important or new about a culture or a place which you were not familiar with before. (This experience does not have to link with the destinations you mentioned above.) Please tell me what happened, where and when it took place, who were involve in your experience and what you have learnt/discovered/explored. I remember la tomatina festial in spain very clearly as an experience that helped me learn about a culture. It let us experience of the spanish locals, they showered us down and didn’t speak a word of english but they were super warm and helped us. It was lovely, felt like we were part of the community. 6. How memorable and meaningful is this experience for you described in Question 5? How has it impacted on you, or your perception about certain things/countries/ people/the particular place? I guess just the warmth of the spanish people and how welcoming they are to foreigners. 7. Please describe what this experience (described in Question 5) made you feel, towards the culture or country you were visiting? 8. Same as above 9. Please attach a picture which captured the experience you have described and email to firstname.lastname@example.org: when you have sent please answer, please tick 10. Please describe a negative experience you had while visiting a destination (this can be experience from another destination not mentioned before, or the same, please state clearly). What made this negative for you? Spain barcelona, I think we didn’t have much time during the days and just tried to do too much. We didn’t do enough research, so didn’t really know what restaurants were good to eat at so fell into some pretty bad tourist traps. 11. How did you feel about this negative experience mentioned in question 9? Didn’t enjoy it and feel like i didn’t get to make the most of my trip.
116 // Appendices
Appendix 6 User Testing Feedback Summaries Rationale: To understand how the users would use the service, whether the usersâ€™ expectations were met with the experience during the service and to identify the issues and concerns of the users with the proposed service. Method A combination of methods were used to illustrate as best as possible the service experience users would encounter with the proposed service, emic. A walkthrough of the service was told using prototypes of physical touchpoint (emic.com website interface and emic in Cities Toolkit) with descriptions of assumed user interactions and performances to create a simulation of the service experience. The assumed performances were generated by going through the storyboards and cognitive walkthrough as the persona of the service. At certain points of the walkthrough, interviewees were then asked for feedback to respond to the simulation. Interviewees: 5 interviewees were invited to give participate the User Testing where each testing lasted for about one hour including the walkthrough and the feedback time. Interviewees were primarily chosen for their past experiences of being an independent traveler with habits of flexible trip planning and an interest in exploring destinations in their own way. This however, does not suggest that they all have similar pre-trip, during-trip and post-trip tourist behaviours. They were also chosen as they were all from outside of London which allowed them to understand the service not from a local point of view, but also from a foreignerâ€™s point of view. General details of the interviewees were as follows: Helen Nationality: Australian Chinese Age: 32 Occupation: Architect
Sam Nationality: New Zealander Chinese Age: 29 Occupation: Project Manager (in Banking)
Ruby Nationality: Taiwanese Age: 28 Occupation: Artist/Editor
Lily Nationality: Australian Age: 26 Occupation: Motion Graphics Designer
Gabriela Nationality: Brazilian Age: 26 Occupation: Product Designer
Feedback Summaries: Helen Overall, Helen found the idea to be fun and would like to see it as a real service. She thought the Toolkit was attractive and could see it available in stores like Magma. She could see the opportunities of creating fun in travel with the kit as she liked tactile things. There were doubts of the affect of the website as a main promoter of the tools as it might be hard to stand out from other websites online. However she found the website attractive and consistent with the feel of the brand and product. The Toolkit reminded her of Moleskine notebooks and its website, where users were asked to submit their most creative use of the Moleskine notebook as a part of an online exhibition which could attract more users and develop brand identity. Even though, free registration would be her incentive to join the website, she believed the website was lacking in grasping the idea of the Toolkit straight away. She commented how the Toolkit should be the first priority to promote service and that the website as a first touchpoint missed the opportunity to hook the users with the product. In terms of the Tools, she favoured Map Folders and Portraiture and had comment about the Street Sketch with a greater potential of taking more of her time than she would desired if she was traveling as she imagined she would need to find a place for her to sit down and commit to it. She did not favour the Depository as it was not her style to pick things up. Preference for the Tools to be all in one size was also raised as Helen explained how as an Architect she liked to see things consistent. But she also appreciated the Tools in parts so that one could take only the Tool needed for the day. She felt that the Tools were “children” ideas being repackaged and reminded her of how she used to like drawing and paying attention to things around her with great enjoyment. She believed that “visual” people would enjoy the Toolkit and that she would do this with friends like that. She would not choose to do this in a larger group with fear of holding up others in their travel, especially not with people with a typical Hong Kong mindset, that is “to do a lot of things very quickly.” Her main concern for traveling was carrying things. She described herself as too “lazy” to carry too many things around and gave her preference for “small maps” as an example. She felt that this issue was answered partially by the Tools all being different and separated. She believed that she would not have considered them at all if they were all combined together as one “chunky” object. Her main interest on the website contents would be to see how others would use the Tools. She also prefered using social media to spread the word as she is very into social media like facebook and twitter. In terms of sharing, she said she would be willing to do so and felt that the tagging within her shared “entry” would be a useful function. However she suggested to have a ready made list of existing tags for people to choose from rather than to ask them to create their own.
Ruby The first questions that came into Ruby’s mind was why this emic.com should be a better platform to share her travels than existing social media like facebook. Her question led to continually looking for attractions that would differentiate the website with other similar travel-related services. She had identified the “entry” feature could potentially be an attractive function of the website, as the input method were designed to give emphasis on the travel experience, rather than merely a photo-sharing experience. The use of tagging was especially good, as that could remind them of focusing the effort of creating contents relating to their travel discoveries and the experiences with the Tools. She also raised the question of hooking users with the service further by providing more post-service such as free templates download after a first purchase. The customisation of the
118 // Appendices
Toolkit which was only available by online purchase was appreciated as she believed this would give more freedom and enjoyment since she could try Tools by her choice. The customisation feature and the rating feature of the website were also excellent for development purposes in the future to eliminate less popular Tools. As for the Toolkit itself, Ruby found that three Tools in one kit would be a good number rather than the initially proposed five Tools which was “too much” for one trip. She also mentioned that she would have a “concentration” issue and could only focus on one Tool each time, hence she imagined herself to take only one Tool out each day if she were to travel. She mentioned that it would also be great if each Tool could be obtain one by one and be sold in a discounted price as a set. Her favourite Tools were the Portraiture, Snoop Record and the Depository which she found to be fun to use. She also mentioned that some of her friends would have liked the service and she herself may also buy the Toolkit as a gift.
Gabriela The main issue for Gabriela, was that Tools came across as having a “smaller role” and with a “minor” value than they actually were on the website. As a user, she understood that the website was for the purpose of sharing experiences, however it was not clear that these experiences shared should relate to the Tools. She raised the issue of the website becoming a platform for users to use it as another travel-blog which so happened to sell a product. Her suggestions were to add some reminders or even design the connections with the Tools within the “entry” input function. She also commented the website was not inducing more curiosity about the Tools in the first few moments with the first-time users. The information about the service which differentiated it from others were not apparent in those first moments. Her suggestions were to show more of how people were using the Tools, and also encourage people to share the appropriate content. In terms of the product, she would prefer to see the real product before purchasing, although she did not mind purchasing from an online platform. “If I don’t live here [in London], I would trust that it is good [enough to be recommended].” Her Tools preference was the Portraiture and the Maps Folder, as she felt that the former was great to use in London, since she knew London to be full of interesting characters, and the latter Tool matched her enjoyment in map-drawing. She could see herself taking the whole set of the Toolkit out to be reminded that she needed to do some of them as she visit the city. She could also imagine doing this with another friend who would be visiting London and may give one of the outcome of her use of the Tools to her friend as a gift. Questions of commitment to the service was also raised, as she felt that the free service was too open to attract “idle” users or users who would create an idle account without feeling the need to contribute to the community or purchasing the products. We discussed ideas of a limited functions method, that is by giving “quota” of what an non-contributing or non-purchasing user of the website could do with the online platform. These limitations include: a limit on the number of times the user could interact with others in the community without contributing relevant materials on the platform and limitation on the number of entries one could share without purchasing the products. One other comment about the usability of the website was the icons on the Explore page and their apparent relations to the Tools. As there wasn’t any information available about how to use the page and how the icons represent the Tools, she found there need to be some indication or link to explain the Tools. This would also strengthen the “weight” of the content of the Tools for the website.
Sam Sam expressed that he would not be taking the Tools or using them if it was him, however he could see himself using the Tools if his friends were the main users of the emic service. Sam did not consider himself to be the user of this service as he did not see himself as a drawer. However, he felt the product to be attracting his attentions and would express interests should the Tools be used and shown to him. He preferred the Depository and Street Sketch as he thought the prompts and interactions required relate closely to the place of the destination. However, he found that the Portraiture would be difficult for him to use in London as he found that most people on the streets were not really English people and that he could not relate “people” and travel experience together. In terms of the website, he commented the ambiguity as a first-time user after seeing his friend’s page and was not sure what he should do next. He also felt that the Homepage was not clear and direct in explaining what the service was about, although he felt that the smaller text under the tagline was more relevant to the service than another piece of information on the homepage as it gave an idea of the service objectives. As a less inquisitive web-user, he felt that the Explore page was just as confusing with the Tools being the first portal through which the travel sharing were found. He suggested the first time users to see all the available Tools icons and that they could play with the visualisation method once they had an idea of how many options they had. He also mentioned that as a first-time user, he could not understand straight away that he was meant to click on the icon to find the entries. Overall, he felt that the website should mention more about the Tools than it was at the moment in areas such as the Home page, the About page and the Shop page. However, he felt that it was still a useful platform to promote the service, especially in conjunction with social media and the mention of the website on the back of the Toolkit.
Lily The online platform would mean more to her after she had seen examples of others using the product or the real product itself. As she preferred seeing the physical object before purchasing, the web platform might not entice her of the service straight away. She also found that she would like keep the Toolkit for herself, especially as they seemed to design for fun. However, she expressed uncertainty about taking the Tools along with her while she traveled as a group but it would be more likely if she were traveling alone. As she liked to explore websites, she found that the Explore section of the website intriguing and would understand how it works if she had the time to play with it. However, this also revealed that the interface design at the moment was not indicating enough for how to use it. She also commented that she would return to the website once finished with the Tools as she would be interested to know how others had used the Tools. Her major concern was sharing her travel discoveries while showing pictures of how she used the Tools. She uncomfortable to share her “doodles” with the public as well as her travel experiences, as she found that the “doodles” were almost as private as diary to her. However, when asked if she mind to submit her drawings or usage of the Tools as part of a collection of how people use the Tools, she said then it would be okay. Her explanation was that as the “doodle” would not be as tied to her travel experience, she would feel less “embarrassed” to share her drawings and perhaps that also everyone else was sharing at the same time in the same way.
120 // Appendices