The role of design in the future of digital channels: Conceptual insights and future research directions

Straker, Karla, Wrigley, Cara, & Rosemann, Michael (2015) The role of design in the future of digital channels: Conceptual insights and future research directions. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 26, pp. 133-140.

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In the past channel literature has looked to other disciplines in developing and refining their theories, models and methods in order to evolve the field. This paper traces such history and highlights the substantial changes caused by the digital age. In light of this, the inclusion of design theory into future channel management is presented to overcome existing concerns.


A comprehensive review of literature on the history of channels, the emotional experience (people), limitations of digital innovation (technology) and the role of design (business) has been conducted to create a new approach, built upon the theory of the techno-economic innovation model.


The findings of this study propose design-led channel management as a new research area, providing novel research questions and future research directions. The inclusion of design and emotion theories indicates that the future of digital channel design requires a deeper understanding of customers and needs to go beyond technological advances.

Theoretical implications

The findings provide an opportunity to explore dynamic theories and methodologies within the field of design that will broaden the horizons and challenge existing notions in channel literature.


This paper is the first paper that introduces the theory of Emotionate, as the next evolution of channel literature. The value of Emotionate lies in providing a new design-led process of integrating emotion to provide advice to practitioners as well as identifies research areas for academia, thereby extending the reach and richness of this emerging research field.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 85007
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Channel innovation, Digital channel, Customer emotion, Strategy
DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2015.06.004
ISSN: 0969-6989
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Information Systems
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 28 Jun 2015 23:06
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2016 05:42

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