Observation Lab. Keith ColemanLocation: old bank building converted into a “community bookstore, coffeehouse,poetry/jam session space.”Before you enter the store:Does the store draw you in? If so, how?Yes. Amazingly large, wide windows filled with books.Is the door open or closed?Doors (two) wide open with elliptical arrows pointing towards inside.How does this make you feel?Like I wanted to check out what was inside. Felt welcomed.How big is the sign lettering and in what font?Large. Calligraphy.What does it tell you about the store?Creative, confident, expressive.Environment:What is the color scheme of the store? How does this affect you?Earth tones: cream, brown, sage, olive, ruby, gold. Provided a homey, calming feeling.What type of floor does the store have? How does this effect the environment?Old concrete. Created a solid, clear, experienced effect.How high is the ceiling? How does this feel?Thirty (30+) feet high. Very expansive, felt like a big warm cave.How brightly lit is the store? How does this affect you?Medium light. Came from various spots: above, corners. Different lighting types.Modest exposure, not too intense: comfortable lighting – enough light to see, not brightenough to cause a headache.How loud is the environment?Little to no noise.What is causing the noise?Light background music. Plus some street sounds emanating into store.
Is there music playing? If so, does it fit the environment?Yes, it fits.Is the store warm or cold?Moderate temperature.Is the store crowed with merchandise or is it sparse?Voluminous, a lot of inventory but not crowded.Does the store have a distinctive smell?A bit like an old building?Where is the cash register located?In the center of the wide open floor space.How visible is the store security?Right in front as you walk into the store? A few staffers walking upstairs & on mainfloor.How long do you want to stay in this store?As long as possible. Comfortable environment. Non-corporate.Does the environment influence the perceived value of the merchandise?Not monetarily. Perhaps emotionally.Personnel:How long does it take before a sales person initiates contact?Awhile. Staff left me alone. One asked if I had any questions. Looking at othercustomers, it seemed like staff gave them space.Does the salesperson have a script to follow with each customer?Seemingly not.Does the salesperson treat different customers differently?No.What is the ratio of salespeople to customers?1 to 8What age and gender are the employees?Late 20’s early 30’s, mixed gender.
Are the salespeople using the store products?Some staff might have been reading, listening to records, or drinking coffee while theyworked.Do the salespeople have a uniform?No. Self-style. Very egalitarian and free. Relaxed.Do the salespeople match the stores image?Yes. Old school, community bookstore.Products:What is the first product that you notice?Books.Is there a central display table with featured products?Not really. Books are everywhere.Where are items that are “for sale” located in the store?None.How are the products arranged? By function? By price? By color?By function, type.Are there free samples or demonstrations?Poetry slams, readings, jam sessions. Books for $1 upstairs.What products are at eye level?Books.What items in the store are in the least accessible locations?Books (also the most accessible)Where are the most and least expensive products located?$1 books were all upstairs. More expensive products were on first floor: books, records,coffee.Are the prices of the products easy to find?Yes.Are there impulse items near the cash register?Books. Cards.
Customers:Are most customers alone or with someone else? What is the relationship?Most customers were alone.What is the average age and gender of the customers?Either late 20’s – early 30’s or 50+. College kids not patronize, yet.When a customer enters the store, do they tend to walk in the same path or direction?No. The bottom floor layout offers three avenues to walk in. Customers used all threepaths to begin their journey into the bookstore.How long do customers stay in the store, on average?20-30 minutes.Do customer touch the products? Is this encouraged?Yes. Yes.Do most customers appear to be on a mission or are they browsing?Both.What percent of customers purchase products in the store?60%Other Observations:The space was filled with imaginative designs, creative tenant improvementsincorporating books, magazines, hardware, pamphlets into the design of thebookstore.A converted bank building circa 1912 architecture; open, warm space filled withbooks and trappings of a solidly built edifice – not IKEA . The energy and sensationof the place was one of curiosity and wonderment. The layout, attitude of staff andcustomers fostered a sense of exploration, wanting to learn things and just handaround – read and talk with folks. As though the customers, staff were all in thisplace together – communal like and not simply a transactional action & experience.