Physical triggers, emotional effect

For us, understanding how people relate to and feel about the physical space around them is critical. We consider human emotions first, and then start on the operational and mechanical side of things. We look into different areas to achieve a given emotional response. This may not be overt, but something that customers and staff relate to on a subconscious level.

Engaging the senses

We translate the brand into a sensory 3D space. A store’s mood and atmosphere should capture the emotional promise of the brand. We think about tactile qualities, the hard and the soft, the light and the dark, scale, proportions and volume, and how these affect the senses. These differ for each brand and the various stages of a customer journey.

Designs that engage our senses create meaningful emotional experiences.

  • A soft rubber floor and hard concrete panels to create a digital playground

    A soft rubber floor and hard concrete panels to create a digital playground

  • Focused speakers create specific tunnels of sound

    Focused speakers create specific tunnels of sound

  • A reflective glass facade gave a feeling of infinity

    A reflective glass facade gave a feeling of infinity

  • Light punctuated the dark backdrop along the customer journey

    Light punctuated the dark backdrop along the customer journey

Encouraging good behaviour

We think deeply about how staff and customers relate to physical objects within a retail environment. The ‘props’ on our retail ‘stage’ have a huge impact on the store experience. We design fixtures that encourage specific kinds of customer and staff behaviour. Our design ideas often work at a subconscious level, making the experience more intuitive, pleasant or engaging.

We used different postures to encourage specific types of actions.

Our store just doesn’t feel right

Sometimes clients come to us and say “our store just doesn’t feel right”, but they’re not sure why. We’re interested in how architectural elements work together to create different emotional responses. We consider the physical environment on many different levels: how people are influenced by the choice of flooring, wall positions, ceiling heights and lighting levels. We use these design elements to make people feel and behave in a certain way, and improve the overall experience for customers and staff.

Not only did the stand increase footfall by over 500% on last year but it was very motivating to staff giving them a tangible and inspiring expression of our brand.

Managing Director, CJ Retail Solutions

Fundamental design principles

There is so much more to design than meets the eye. Design principles have been developed over the years by understanding human behaviour. These are powerful guidelines developed from extensive research — for example, how we are attracted to ‘golden ratio’ proportions. We always consider how these principles can be used to create a more intuitive, engaging experience for staff and customers.

1.61803398875 is a magic number – found in nature and has a powerful effect when applied to retail environments.