Whenever I stay in a hotel, invariably there are some features that I need to figure out. Nothing major, but things that cause me to stop and learn how they worked instead of fluidly going about my business.
> A Master Switch that automatically turned off all the lights — but you had to figure out that it needed to be turned on before any of the lights would work. Searching for a Master Switch on the wall (not just inside the door) is not something travelers are used to when entering hotel rooms!
> The plates were below the breakfast bar instead of on the counter, making them hidden when you were standing next to the eggs looking for something upon which to serve them.
> The drapes had two sets of pulleys instead of the usual “wand” to pull them shut.
> Each TV remote seems to have its own array of buttons and a maddening sequence to access regular television
> Complex thermostats, presumably for energy efficiency, require assistance from maintenance personnel to alter the pre-sets
> Faucets and even toilets often have a different method of operation than the previous hotel
I am sure the hotel staff doesn’t even realize that people may not know where the plates are or how to operate the lights. And if you frequent the same chain, these features become second nature to you, too. But for those who are new to the facility, the nuances become aggravations and reminders that there is “no place like home.”
What can you do to see your space or services with new eyes? Ask a weary traveler to use what your organization offers and provide feedback on its ease of use. You may learn that things you find to be intuitive or easy aren’t that way at all.