Monday, November 24, 2008

Grand Finale

I see design as a great, important aspect that comes from designers and is seen through their products to attract certain customers.

Taking this class allowed me to know how stores and companies market their products and the reason why they market it the way they do. Everything from the design of the merchandise, the way employees sell the merchandise, to the way the stores are structured. I now can answer myself why is it that I end up buying more than I originally go shopping for. Now, every time I go shopping, I apply everything I’ve learned and analyze the stores and the merchandise. It is quite enjoyable, and can’t seem to help it.

We spoke about the reactions of the customers, and why they are attracted to certain products, which made me realize what kind of customer I am, which is one who goes crazy in a store and is attracted to colors, and the brand of the products.

An advice I would give a new First Year student is know how to manage their time. Most of the time, professors give a lot of things at once for all classes. Students really should not procrastinate. They need to know how to limit the time of having fun and the time of studying and doing homework. College would not be so hard if they can manage to get things done on time or before time, so that they can have fun afterwards.

A good advice for a student enrolled in this seminar is always do the blog entries, because if they don’t, they will not be able to enjoy the class discussions, which is the best part of the seminar.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Redesign K Thesis

1. The lounges and rooms in Trowbridge Hall serves as an encouragement or a desirable place to be, which can bring out the loyalty from the students commitment to studying in those places.

2. My constraints are how the furniture can be better, and how utilities around them could be useful. For example, wireless internet, which is not provided everywhere in the building, and heating problems, now that it is going to be winter.

The most important trigger points are the physical look of the lounges and rooms, and how it should invite the students to want to spend more time there, and serve as a “heroin” place where it is the only place students can feel they can concentrate on their work, using the things provided.

3. 5 Class Readings:
Emotional Designs: Visceral, Behavioral, Reflective
Design of Spaces
The Third Place
The Experience Architect
Principles of Marketing

4. “Brands are more than just names and symbols. Brands represent consumers‘ perceptions and feelings about a product and its performance-everything that the product or service means to consumers. As one branding expert suggests, ’Ultimately, brands reside in the minds of consumers.’ thus , the real value of a strong brand is its power to capture consumer preference and loyalty.”-Principles of Marketing

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jazzman's Cafe

“Smooth Coffee and All That Jazz!!!”
It is a place mostly for students and workers in Hicks Center. Entrance: No doors, very inviting. Seating Availability: Tall tables and tall chairs with backs. There are couches in front of fireplace. Number of People: 6 walked in and out, 4 sat and talked. Sound: They used to play Jazz music, but now they play slow pop, because it serves more as relaxation for the students while they study. Image: Inviting, relaxing, comfortable. It is a “Third Place,” which Dr. Ray Oldenburg spoke about in his interview. Interaction: People walk in, order and go. Some sit down and talk if they are with friends or they study. A few things I found interesting were the painting below the menu sign, the theme, which is “Naughty & Nice,” and the free samples of new desserts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Principles of Marketing

Kotler and Armstrong said that the success of brands affirms that products are more than just the physical entities. They gave an example of women buying cosmetics, and how they mainly buy it not for the oils, chemicals, and fragrance, but mostly for the how the company markets the products, with naming products such as: passion, romance, fantasy, love, dreams. It makes women want to feel that way when they wear the cosmetics, and I think it is a good way to attract women who may feel insecure about themselves, and feel that they need that extra something to make them feel better about themselves. Kotler and Armstrong also said that products are the key element in the market offering, which brings value to attract costumers and satisfy their needs.

This discussion of branding and marketing compares to the design of experience by Tom Kelley by addressing that products and services are external and experience are internal; take place in the minds of the costumers. A good example was a mother who makes her own cakes from scratch at home for her child’s birthday party, a mother who buys Betty Crocker to make the cake, or the mother who spends $100 or more to have the entire event at Chuck E. Cheese, which would be a very memorable event for the mother and the child. Experience are full of emotion, excitement, physical, intellectual, or spiritual for a costumer.

Kalamazoo College brand is the honey bee or hornet, and everything that is part of the college is black and orange. They have the “K” everywhere it can be. Design reinforces K’s brand by having a signature symbol of how the college is recognized. The teams names are “The Hornets”, the uniforms have the logo and the colors. The brand is what represents K college and what differentiates it from others.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"The Experience Architect"

Tom Kelley mentions that one role of the Experience Architects is to never forget that giving something special to costumers is both good business and good karma. What they do is look for things that are negative, and then tune them. They ask, “Is this ordinary or extraordinary?” Then they figure out how to turn the ordinary into something distinctive and better. When they are designing, they shouldn’t be complex or expensive. They should have in mind that they want the costumers and businesses to buy a product or visit the place more often. They ask themselves what is important to the costumer in order to find “trigger points,” which is finding the success of making things better. Fixing the problem or designing a great experience using the trigger points can be rewarding, because the costumers get to gain an experience from the new design of something. Experience Architects are suppose to have the patience to see what other can’t see and draw a new concept that can help them map out their costumer’s journey, because it helps make a difference in the marketplace. In order to improve those weak spots of a business, they suggest the improvement of packaging, the merchandizing, and the fixtures, work on the tables, displays, lights, and graphics.

Whatever the new design is, it needs to be a visceral design, because it should be appealing to a costumer, because the whole reason they try to make things better is to draw more costumers. In most cases, they need to be behavioral design, because they need to satisfy the costumers’ needs, or what they think they need, and make them need it. Packaging can be reflective, but even though it is something they target, it is not the main point of re-designing something and making it better for the costumers. What is different is they focus on the small details of making something better in order to change the costumers’ journeys and experience when they visit the place and purchase things.

The cafeteria in Hicks Center should have a food contest, since people don’t like to eat there most of the time. Or they can have theme days. They can put little umbrellas on peoples’ drinks, which gives that Hawaiian theme. They can give out goody bags with cool things, like key chains or little prizes, and they can have raffles every week.

Friday, November 7, 2008

"The Third Place"

A third place is a place where people can go and feel comfortable to have a conversation with anyone without any judgment. It is a place where a person enters it, leave all their personal problems at the door and join in to the comfort and social support by the people and the surroundings. They look like homey places, but no one is a host or a guest, they come and go as they please.

Oldenburg said that Third Places are important to economic and political life. He says economic, because it requires three capitals: physical, human and social., and he a political life, because the real democracy is more social than political.

Oldenburg said that if college administrators want to create a successful Third Place, they have to get rid of vending machines, because the place where they are held is only to get beverages versus having a homey and comfortable place that gives a strong sense of community and belonging. Third places have to be a place where students can learn things by talking freely, which helps them prepare for civic and political life as well as all careers.

I think that the Cavern is a good potential Third Place, because outside, there are chairs around in a circle and in the middle there is a camp fire, which any student can turn it on and feel comfortable with other students around and talk about anything. Inside, is very quiet, they have tea and cookies for anyone who wants it. There are rooms with couches, rugs, pillows and students can go and relax and also talk about many things.

The game room in Hicks Center, my favorite, is a good place also because many students go there. Nobody goes in worrying about school work. They go to have conversations with people, play games and have fun. It is not a very quiet room, but it’s not suppose to be silent, because people are suppose to interact. The pool room in the basement of Trowbridge Hall is also a good potential Third Place.

I think Biggby’s and Jazzman’s CafĂ© are good places. People go to get coffee, beverages, snacks, and sit down and talk about anything. There are tables and couches, which gives it that homey and comfortable feeling that exemplifies a Third Place.