Encounter: Essays: Milan Kundera: : m
Revision History, the current version is dated August 21, 2008. Additions to the first-posted version include sections on Variations of basic waiting lines, including triage, categorization of needs, and self-selection of queues.
I suggest eight design principles, starting with "emotions dominate" and ending with the principle that "the memory of an event is more important than the experience." Examples of design solutions include double buffering, providing clear conceptual models of the events with continual feedback, providing positive memories and even why one might deliberately induce waits.
Maister suggested several principles for increasing the pleasantness of waiting. Although his paper provides an excellent start, it was published in 1985 and there have been considerable advances in our knowledge since then.
These principles apply to all services, not just waiting in lines. Details will vary from situation to situation, industry to industry, but the fundamentals are, in truth, the fundamentals of sociable design for waiting lines, for products, and for service.
(1985). The Psychology of Waiting Lines. In J. A. Czepiel, M. R. Solomon C. F. Surprenant (Eds. The Service encounter: managing employee/customer interaction in service businesses. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath and Company, Lexington Books.
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The Psychology of Waiting Lines, waiting is an inescapable part of life, but that doesn't mean we enjoy it. But if the lines are truly inescapable, what can be done to make them less painful?
Also a section on "Deliberate Chaos.". July, 2009. The MIT Sloan Management Review version of thepaper on waiting linesis finally out: The URL (above) only gives a short excerpt: you have to subscribe (or pay) to get the entire article.