Translating emotional insights into digital channel designs

Karla Straker (School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Cara Wrigley (School of Design, Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Publication date: 3 May 2016



The purpose of this study is to identify and understand the emotions behind a passenger’s airport experience and how this can inform digital channel engagements.


This study investigates the emotional experience of 200 passengers’ journeys at an Australian domestic airport. A survey was conducted which implemented the use of Emocards and an interview approach of laddering. The responses were then analysed into attributes, consequences and values.


The results indicate that across key stages of the airport (parking, retail, gates and arrivals) passengers had different emotional experiences (positive, negative and neutral). The attributes, consequences and values behind these emotions were then used to propose digital channel content and purpose of various future digital channel engagements.

Research limitations/implications

By gaining emotional insights, airports are able to generate digital channel engagements, which align with passengers’ needs and values rather than internal operational motivations. Theoretical contributions include the development of the technology acceptance model to include emotional drivers as influences in the use of digital channels.


This paper provides a unique method to understand the passengers’ emotional journey across the airport infrastructure and suggest how to better design digital channel engagements to address passenger latent needs.



Straker, K. and Wrigley, C. (2016), "Translating emotional insights into digital channel designs", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 135-157.

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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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