The Japanese culture is known for its excellent service and hospitality which is based onthe philosophy of Motenashi. This paper shows how aspects of Japanese hospitality can be applied to Interaction Design to enrich the sensual value of product interfaces. The analysis of Motenashi was undergone with literature on Japanese culture, guided interviews with Japanese and a documented visit of a traditional Japanese guest house. The three characteristic elements of the Japanese hospitality philosophy: 1. Shitsurai – the preparations for the guest, 2. Furumai – the behavior/attitude of host and guest and 3. Yosooi – the dressing code, are described in the paper. Examples on how to apply these to User Interface Design are given. E.g. Shitsurai, with its idea of a seasonally adjusted decoration, becomes a user interface that changes with season or daytime. Furumai reveals the importance of appropriate interactive behavior. This involves the flow of tasksand the voice/speech style as well as the evolution of the user’s relationship with his device. In the final part a conceptual approach for the design of Motenashi interfaces is outlined.
Kerstin Bongard-Blanchy, “Interface Design based on the philosophy of Japanese Hospitality” in Proceedings of Design & Emotion, Chicago, Oct. 2010