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Seeing is Believing: Sight in Design

The Beacon Hotel Dublin - Bar - by Millimetre Design

Our “Detailed by Design” series has already delved into the importance of the senses within design, along with Millimetre Design’s implementation of the senses in their own project approach.

Managing Director, Ronan Holohan, takes a deeper dive into the sense of sight, the science behind it, and how Millimetre Design have maximised the opportunities this sense of sight can bring to a design project.

Sight & the Individual

If one was to place the senses into a hierarchy of awareness or popularity, sense of sight often comes up top. It’s how we, as human beings, take in our surroundings and react to that environment. Put simply, sight can help us identify something we first feel, taste, smell or hear.

Research has revealed that the average human being can process around 150 colours. A certain colour, like yellow, can lift our mood, while darker colours can invoke reflection or loss. What we see at any given time can dramatically impact our mood. However, these personal perceptions can differ greatly among individuals, and it’s this element to our senses, especially sight, that your design partner must be acutely aware of, and ready to optimise for your business.

Lotts & Co Dublin by Millimetre Design

Café en Seine: Taking in the Parisian Sights

Before Millimetre Design’s transformation of the Dublin venue, a project which saw the company win two internationally acclaimed MUSE awards, Café en Seine was notorious for its dark, intimidating mystique, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

Based in an iconic space within Dublin’s city centre, its long, corridor-style building was intriguing, though coupled with its dark interiors, it quickly became uninviting. Visitors couldn’t see what was ahead of them during the customer journey, stopping customers from moving down the building and creating effectively ‘dead spots’ for the venue.

With a transformation well overdue, Millimetre Design got to work renovating the venue to reflect the great work and food produced by the restaurant. Taking considerable amounts of darkness away from the interior and rejuvenating the restaurant’s back areas, Café en Seine’s available open space was maximised, allowing visitors to see clearly throughout the venue, and drawing them into other areas.

An awareness of the sense of sight is crucial in design; the use of visual guidelines, lighting and eyeline focus helps the designer implement the right design solutions to suit your business and maximise the experience to be enjoyed within the space.

Cafe en Seine Dublin – Library – by Millimetre Design

JC Supermarket: Sight & the Shopping Journey

Currently the largest family-owned, independent supermarket retailer in Ireland, Millimetre Design embarked on a €1.7 million project to revamp and refresh the retailer’s Swords venue at the beginning of May 2018, with completion at the end of July 2019, and the sense of sight plays a major role in this project.

In fact, the shopping experience heavily relies on sight and the implementation of clear touchpoints for customers. If signage or staff uniforms are hard to identify, this creates a frustrating and stressful experience for a customer when seeking a product or assistance. When shopping equipment or facilities are not aesthetically pleasing, this too contributes negatively to a retailer’s brand image or reputation.

With a desire to make the customer journey relaxing and enjoyable, rather than a stressful necessary, Millimetre Design have set to work transforming the long-running supermarket, introducing bold signage and top-of-the-range facilities to make a lasting visual impact for customers, which in turn will bring to life the family brand and increase the chances of repeat visits and customer loyalty.

Hotels & Sight: Room with a ‘View’

The hotel bedroom might be a small space, but sight is as equally important as the sense of touch or smell, both of which will be explored in later articles.

Whether it’s ensuring that visitors can easily identify the location of light switches in the middle of the night without waking a partner up, or what buttons to press to cool down the shower, design can be maximised to provide the right signposts for customers, creating  a stress-free, relaxing experience that reflects well on your brand.

When designing a hotel bedroom, the sense of sight and individual perceptions of this should be used to inform various elements of design. Introducing a neutral colour scheme can help the hotel guest to relax and ease themselves into their stay; a bespoke lighting system designed according to the resident’s reason for staying will personalise the experience and ensure that customers’ needs and wants are met.

Millimetre Design had these insights at the top of the agenda when it started into the interior concept of The Spencer Hotel extension project, Dublin, introducing a superior lighting system that gives control back to the guest and allows them to personalise the bedroom for their own unique individual needs and wants during their stay. Not only does this significantly improve customer retention and repeat visits, but it can provide a considerable boost to word-of-mouth company reputation and solidify your brand as one of repeated customer choice. The Spencer project is currently on site and Millimetre Design are looking forward to delivering these new rooms in early 2020.

The Beacon Hotel Dublin – Foyer – by Millimetre Design

Intercontinental Hotel Dublin by Millimetre Design

Set Your Sights on the Right Design Approach

The sense of sight should always be at the forefront of your design partner’s approach, informing design decisions to ensure customer expectations will be surpassed and guarantee repeat visits for your business.

From general understanding at the briefing stage from all parties, to the deliverance of an experience for the customer, design should always be informed with the senses in mind.

By Managing Director, Ronan Holohan.

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