I’ve been trying to get back into reading more, both fiction and non-fiction. Most people might assume that I read a lot of books and articles related to UX and design, when in fact I get most of my inspiration from reading about other experiences and think about how it can be applied to digital products.
Lately, I have been fully immersed in "Unreasonable Hospitality". You might even recognize this book from episode 7, season 2 of The Bear (one of the best TV episodes ever?). On the surface, both stories are about the restaurant industry and fine dining at its most elite levels. However, a closer examination reveals common elements for the business we are all in: the business of creating experiences. This is a business that many of us fail to recognize in the first place.
Seriously, I have so many highlights from reading this book. I initially got it because my partner and I have a long-term dream of opening our own restaurant. It has sparked ideas that no book about design ever has.
For instance, it's well-known that at the very beginning of the meal and at the very end, time seems to slow down. In those moments, the guest has a heightened sensitivity to any delay- we can all relate to feeling like we've been waiting hours for that first glass of water or for the check. So it's crucial to get something -anything- in front of the guest as soon as you can.
While many of us focus on "optimizing checkout experiences" or "creating frictionless onboarding experiences," we often fail to look outside our own arena for inspiration. So, rather than thinking it's all about speed (a poor example, as it really is all about speed), what if you could get something in front of your user?