Monday, June 09, 2008

Hanging around

I've just come back from holiday in Kos. One of the modern challenges of going away is figuring out how to hang up a pair of trousers in the hotel wardrobe. This apparently simple task has become more complicated because of the replacement of old-fashioned hook hangers with two-part security hangers. The hook hangers could be easily removed from the rail in order to facilitate the hanging of clothes. With the new hangers we have to disengage the frame from the closed loop. In this hotel the connection was a ball-and-socket arrangement which required a technique like that required by those buzzing wire steady-hand games at school fairs. The equivalent of the dreaded buzz is your trousers slipping off the frame and falling in a heap on the wardrobe floor. It is particularly difficult in a crammed wardrobe (my wife is a firm believer in "way too many" being better than "too few" when it comes to packing holiday clothes).

As a hotel guest, my user requirements for a clothes hanger are:
  1. hanging my trousers;
  2. simple to use.
However, guests are not the only stakeholders. The hotel owners also have a set of requirements:
  1. allow guests to hang their trousers;
  2. discourage guests from taking hangers home.
Clearly the first requirements on both stakeholders' lists are in alignment. But whilst the hook hanger satisfies the guest's second requirement it doesn't satisfy the owner's second requirement. Whereas the closed loop hanger meets the owner's second requirement but fails to meet the guest's. In situations like this, when two requirements clash it is usual for the customer's requirement - the bill payer - to trump the user's requirement.

And that's why almost universally hotels now have security hangers in their wardrobes. At least in this situation the user's top requirement - hanging my trousers - has been implemented in a convenient fashion. The hotel could just have provided a wardrobe rail and told us to bring our own clothes hangers (i.e. as a self-service application).

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Blogger Tim... said...


I just hang my trousers in the trouser press. I don't understand how to work them, but they are a convenient replacement for a hanger. :)



9 June 2008 at 07:10:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Gary Myers said...

But how many people can afford a hotel room, but think that it is worthwhile stealing coat hangers ? Especially cheap wire hangers that snag and tear your clothers when you try to squeeze them in the case.
So, they should put in some expensive 'security' hangers (for people who really want expensive wooden or plastic hangers) and some cheap wire ones for the rest of us.

9 June 2008 at 16:45:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous mwidlake said...

The solution is simple. Take two, easy=to=pack wire coathangers with you on holiday. Put them in the wardrobe on their own for the first night and leave them to it. The next day, the wardrobe will be full of wire hangers, as they bread like... well, more than rabbits. At least they do in my wardrobe at home. Can't get the expensive wooden ones to do it though, not even if I pipe Barry Manilow into the wardrobe.

14 June 2008 at 15:59:00 GMT-7  
Blogger APC said...

>> not even if I pipe Barry Manilow into the wardrobe.

There's your problem: you are using the wrong Barry. Manilow notoriously only appeals to women of a certain age, i.e. outside the breeding population. You need to use Barry White.

Cheers, APC

17 June 2008 at 02:44:00 GMT-7  

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