Designing for experiences: a meta-ethnographic synthesis

Bert Smit, F Melissen, X Font, Alkmini Gkritzali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Experiences are at the core of tourism and hospitality. Understanding how to design, manage and measure such experiences has become a key topic in academic literature focused on this sector. This paper presents the characteristics of an optimal design process model for experiences, based on the results of a meta-ethnographic synthesis of such processes. The characteristics can be seen as critical success factors in delivering the right solution to the right problem efficiently and effectively. Depending on the context, starting level and aim of the design, designers can benefit from applying several different design processes. Such a process benefits from design capabilities developed in multi-disciplinary teams. Moreover, the design process aids design teams through steering the collection of explicit and tacit knowledge on problem and solution aspects with stakeholders in a specific order. The success of a design process depends on procedural knowledge of lead designers and their ability to orchestrate and integrate contributions from various disciplines and stakeholders at the right times. Existing design processes for tourism and hospitality experiences lack maturity and flexibility, resulting in them having poor structural validity. However these processes, with insights from design science, can form a base for further theoretical development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2971-2989
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • design
  • design levels
  • design process
  • experience
  • experience design
  • meta-synthesis


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