Traditional guest feedback methods such as surveys or mystery shopping are not ideal for collecting information about customers' reactions to a hotel's physical design. Because design is a visual medium, survey questions may not capture the whole of a guest's reaction to the design. By the same token, the reaction of mystery shoppers to design is not necessarily representative of all guests. Instead, a photography-based approach allows guests to show managers and researchers what they consider to be the hotel's design highlights and failures. A pilot study indicated that guests took notice of design elements that signified that the hotel was being considerate of their needs, as well as providing a functional, high-quality environment.
Pullman, M. E., & Robson, S. K. A. (2007). Visual methods: Using photographs to capture customers’ experience with design [Electronic version]. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 48(2), 121-144. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Hospitality Administration site: http://scholarship.sha.cornell.edu/articles/125/