What is it?
Travel Global | Read Local is a library service for hotels and their guests. It aims to promote Danish culture & knowledge to visitors of Denmark by giving them access to library materials and services. At the same time, Travel Global | Read Local allows hotels to serve their guests in new ways by arranging to have library materials delivered directly to their rooms.
Who is it for?
Travel Global | Read Local is for hotels and their guests. Many visitors to Denmark are eager to find local knowledge about sights, activities, books, music and other things that suit their personal interests. Few places in Denmark provide such information to help people experience the local culture in a meaningful way.
Hotels are interested in meeting the needs of their customers and providing them a comforting and welcoming stay.
Why is it valuable?
Hotel guests are able to explore Danish culture through the library and have books, CDs and DVDs waiting at their hotel room when they arrive, all for free.
Hotels that partner with the library will have a unique service that allows them give their guests a personalized experience.
The library can continue it’s mission of providing free access to culture and information while at the same time lead the way in promoting Denmark as a country which places a high value in the sharing of knowledge.
Possible business opportunities exist for both the library and hotels to offer paid subscriptions and premium services.
How does it work?
A special library website promotes materials and information relevant for visitors and guests in Denmark. When a visitor books a room with a partner hotel, they are given the ability to reserve materials from the library website. The library will arrange to deliver the materials to the hotel and the hotel will manage the rest. A hotel guest has many options for returning books, reserving more books, etc.
What were your key learnings?
People coming to stay in Copenhagen all begin by following a very similar travel process. In general, many people who are new to an area often seek the local library because its universal services make it reliable. Many people visit a country to learn about it’s culture yet they have different tastes and interests. There is a need for local and trustworthy information that can be tailor made for specific people.
Week 1: The Context
Finding a design domain and building a user research plan was the primary focus of week 1. We had visits at several libraries to help generate a broad understanding of the existing system and services. We spoke with experts to gain knowledge in current trends, challenges and other issues facing libraries.
By the end of the week we chose ‘foreigners’ as a user group and made research plans to further refine this as a design domain.
We were interested in how library services could play a role with people who are visiting Denmark or who have just moved to Denmark. Plans for the following week included visits to the airport and other places where we might be able to find foreigners just arriving in Denmark.
Week 2: User Research
We conducted user research in the field and turned insights into design challenges. Most of the research took place at the airport and tourist information office where we conducted video interviews with tourists and foreigners living in Denmark. We were interested to know how they prepared for their trip and what resources they accessed once they arrived in Denmark.
After this we had the enormous task of finding the best quotes and observations from all our notes, videos and photos. For each insightful quote or observation we collected (we collected a lot), we had to answer “what does it mean?” Once this helped us understand the value in our insight, we then had to ask “so what?” As a group this really helped us figure out what was interesting and if it was useful.
The goal of this process was to create 3 well thought out design challenges that we could then create concepts for.
Week 3: First Concepts
We looked at three design challenges and created as many concepts as possible. We conducted many brainstorming sessions which included classmates not involved with our project. At the end of the week, we had literally hundreds of concepts. Most were purely inspirational but they provided material to develop several solutions and begin the process of planning how to execute an initial experience prototype.
After presenting three concepts to the class, we decided to move forward with one that involved incorporating library and hotel services. In a matter of days we were able to make a short video that communicated the idea.
Week 4: Experience Prototyping
hagen help us test our experience prototype with their guests. We prepared brochures, order forms and mini catalogs for the receptionist to distribute to guests when they check in to the hotel. We also brought 20 of our own books that the guests could borrow. The books were a mix of novels, guide books and design related photo books. Almost all of them had something to do with Denmark. We also included DVDs and a few other items in the catalog even though we did not bring them to the hotel. If a guest would like to borrow a book, they just need to fill out a small order form and give it to the receptionist. We also included questionnaires so that the guests could give us feedback about the service. Inside each book is a bookmark with recommendations based on that particular book. These include sights, other library materials and places to visit (i.e. The Danish Design Museum). For the sake of this prototype, the role of the library is not important. However we still included books and print material
We spent a few hours each day hanging out in the lobby and observing guests as they receive the brochure when they check in. The idea is to see if hotel guests, who generally only stay 2-3 nights, are interested in looking at new books and bringing them back to their rooms. We would also like to know what types of books are most popular and how the receptionists are able to manager the service.
Week 5: Solution Concept
We refined our hotel/library concept based on the insights from our experience prototypes and produced communication pieces to help make the concept clear and understandable. These included a concept video, service blueprint and system diagrams. We also began thinking about future scenarios based on the service we created and how a larger system could give travelers access to books all over the world.