Design Supporting a Customer-Perceived Intimacy-Strategy in Healthcare Services

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Martens, Carmen (1,2); Herssens, Jasmien (1); Delcourt, Câcile (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Hasselt/University of Liege
Section: Design for healthcare
DOI number:
ISSN: 2220-4342


Given that we live in a time within a growing competitive healthcare market, the customer experience and healing opportunities are on top of the priority list. However, little attention has been dedicated on how to merge the disciplines of architecture, healthcare and management to create healthcare environments to enhance the customer experience and the healing process. The goal of this paper is to explore how design can foster customer-perceived intimacy within a healthcare context to achieve enhanced customer outcomes, such as customer well-being. Understanding the importance of customer-perceived intimacy is paramount, as customers are constantly exposed to intimate situations. The study suggest that there is potential for such situations to be wrought with problems involving complexities associated with human cognition, emotions, physiological responses, and behaviors. A literature review is undertaken to highlight the antecedents and the short-term and long-term outcomes of customer-perceived intimacy. As a result, the paper provides a conceptual framework that raises many questions that need to be answered. In doing so, a solid foundation for future inquiry has been laid.

Keywords: Customer intimacy, Design process, Experience design, Healthcare services, Service design


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