Have you ever sat in your favorite chair thinking; it doesn’t feel as comfortable today? Have you ever dismissed a potential new chair or a sofa as uncomfortable without even trying it? Why is that?
When we enter a space, we unconsciously make an assumption about its level of comfort based on things like colours and materials used. Comfort is not only associated with haptics – touch and feel, but also visual aesthetics – whether something looks soft or rigid for example. Comfort will additionally be affected by the positioning of a seat within the space – whether it’s facing a window, a TV or a wall.
In transport, passenger perception of comfort will vary from one person to another. It is often dependant on a number of attributes of the seat. But it’s also influenced by the overall travel experience and the emotions accompanying the passenger at that particular time.
Additionally, since the covid pandemic, passenger expectations have grown beyond the simple aspect of comfort. Airline customers have grown to expect things like enhanced cleanliness of their seats and cabin in general. Not forgetting a growing emphasis on sustainability in the form of reducing the need to use Earth’s finite resources.