The contemporary human being, lives, works, learns and develops in highly complex working, domestic and urban environments. The systems of reality perception that surround us are not the same as those 30 years ago.
Let us take a practical example: the latest generation mobiles, interactive tablets and screens. We use them all the time and they surround us each day, both at home and in the city. We have become accustomed to them and not only do they allow us to access an infinite supply of informative and audio-visual data with great interactivity and immediacy, they also, however, condition both our personal and social development as our vision and understanding of the world. We observe how the voyage through the Internet, presents itself as experimentation more than experience. Users discover pages and decide to investigate continually renewed links (which can later be retrieved), which take them to other links with solutions and on numerous occasions, surprise content. Users utilize the network furthermore, using their creativity for the production of content. Our way of understanding the world and how we relate to it has changed. Interactivity, immediacy, experimentation, surprise, renewal, creativity; we’ll leave these key words here and come back to them later.
In which way do these changes affect the Leisure industry?
Passive and recreational contemplation and consumption of cultural goods, (sports, cinemas, museums), have occupied human beings’ free time during centuries, in an obvious dichotomy between Leisure and Culture. The frontiers between both concepts have been attenuated from half a century back until now. Up until recently, human beings, in their Leisure moments, sought sensations of discovery, surprise and exploration that reflected their potential and contributed to their personal development…However, the advent of the internet, new instant and interactive communication technologies and low-cost flights have added new demands and are shaping a new form of contemporary Leisure. In short, human beings with free time want to be creative and expect the Leisure on offer to reflect their creativity. The Leisure industry should not be immune to these demands if it wishes to continue to be productive and profitable.
How can we apply a creative dimension to the user experience in the Leisure Complex?
We will return now to the words that we left a moment ago:
Interactivity: Now, apart from sensations of immersion and contemplation, sensations of experimentation and interactivity, participation and decision-making are necessary in Leisure Complexes. An attractive environment is not enough: the user has to be able to use it, modify it and enjoy it.
Experimentation: The contemporary Leisure user increasingly seeks to experiment, try combinations, to feel free to explore and choose the experience at all times. As on the Internet, the experience should not be exhausted in just one environment; variety and possibility of choice in a Leisure Complex are keys to its success.
Immediacy: The Leisure experience rejects boring waits or spaces that are experience-empty. The correct balance between times of enjoyment and the adequate sizing of the different offers of the Leisure Complex is fundamental in achieving user expectations.
Surprise: The variety of surprise-effects in the Leisure Complex is key to its success and profitability.
Renewal: The client expects changes for the better, adaptations, new technologies, new possibilities. The design of the Leisure complex should anticipate structures that can be periodically updated.
Creativity: In the Leisure Complex the user seeks a reflection of their own creativity, seeking contents that denote risk, anticipation and intelligence.