People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: customer service

Wandering Librarian: Library Hotel

A long standing wish of mine has finally been fulfilled just before Christmas; a visit to the Library Hotel in NYC. A cozy and quaint boutique hotel for the literary minded, here are some of the cute library and literary themes seen throughout my stay at the hotel:

  • Dewey Decimal themed rooms and floors – I was in 900’s floor, Geography & History
  • A 24 hour reading room containing shelves packed with books
  • A rooftop lounge offering literary inspired cocktails

Beyond my obvious pleasure with all things book related, the hotel deserves high ratings for its customer service and amenities becoming more and more infrequent in the hotel industry. Mainly, free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, complimentary beverage & snack service available 24 hours, and of course a librarian’s favorite: complimentary wine & cheese reception.

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Romper Room for Mini Guests

Traveling with a mini-me has proven to be tricky especially in hotels. We’ve stayed at a boutique hotels, at chain hotels, at inns, cottages, you name it. Yet none of these places are exactly child-proof or child-friendly, even the ones advertising themselves as a family place.

hotelWe finally stayed at a hotel in downtown Toronto that had amenities for mini guests & their harried parents. This Kids Zone Room allowed us to rest while our little one played & romped off his excess energy before boarding our flight home.

A simple amenity but one that has a big and lasting impact for user/customer experience. In the future, I will be calling ahead to see if a hotel has a romper room for mini guests.

Wandering Librarian: NYPL 53rd Street Library

Wandering around NYC, I ended up on the block of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and across the street is the recently opened NYPL 53rd Street Library. I had remembered visiting the former library in this location and was curious to see what the new one looks like. Upon entering, I was greeted by friendly staff. Enlarged posters of book cover jackets line the top of the bookshelves. “Staff picks” cards were displayed on bookshelves throughout the library, reminding me of local bookstores. One service desk was simply a desk with a nook for supplies where staff would carry a laptop to the desk during their shift. Outlets almost everywhere you looked from tabletops to seating areas. A seating area next to the stairs that doubled as an auditorium/theater. Saw a colleague who is now working at this location, it was great to reconnect. Bright and open space, fairly quiet and comfortable. NYPL 53rd Street Library was a quick but enjoyable and welcoming visit.

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Amazon Lockers

amazonWhile on a trip to Flushing, NY for Lunar New Year dim sum I stumbled upon this:

No more sending packages to your home or business address just to miss the postman. Amazon has figured out a way to address those pesky missed deliveries for customers eagerly awaiting their Amazon items.

With Amazon lockers  you can select a location and pick up your package at a time that’s convenient for you. Once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you’ll receive an e-mail notification with a unique pickup code that includes the address and opening times for your selected Locker location.

Of course there are limits to weight, size etc. but at least Amazon is striving to improve customer service.


Online Form Nonexistent

In a recent attempt to join Sparkbox Toys, a Netflix style toy borrowing service, I hit a snag with the online form. More than a snag, a complete halt. No matter how many times I refreshed or hit the join button I kept coming to a dead page. Finally, I emailed the company & a week later received a response. In short, I was told to wait until February for the new site.

This irked me for several reasons:

1.There was no placeholder page when attempting to join. No kind message thanking me for attempting to join & what I can do instead; just a blank dead page.

2. I was told to wait an entire month with no explanation.

3. I was given no other ways to join, i.e. via this brief email or via phone.

While typing up this post I decided to revisit the website & found this,


In all honesty, my previous user experience with Sparkbox left such a bad taste in my mouth that I will probably not be joining the latest iteration of this service.

Bad site, bad user experience = loss of potential customer.