Insights from the ‘Kano Model’

Core metrics for customer experience:

  1. Basic attributes (Fulfilling expectations about core functionality)
  2. Performance attributes (Exceeding expectations about core functionality)
  3. Delight attributes (Unexpected moments of delight)

“The three attributes types are mapped in a coordinate system with “Customer Satisfaction” up the x-axis and “Degree of Achievement” (how well a given feature is executed in your product) along the y-axis.”


  • The details don’t matter if you don’t get the fundamentals right, so the basic attributes need to work flawlessly before you focus on anything else.
  • You don’t need to match every single performance attribute in the market head-on. Align your investments in performance attributes with the target audience of the product – this may of course vary significantly and warrant different variations of the same product.
  • Delivering unexpected delight attributes is what fuels word-of-mouth. Once you’ve secured the basic attributes and some performance attributes, you should begin brainstorming on what delight attributes you can offer as this is what will truly set you apart from the competition.
  • Today’s delight attribute is tomorrow’s performance attribute, and six months from now it may very well be a basic attribute. Customer expectations continually increase so you have to continually reiterate and reinvent your offerings.
  • Having a deep understanding of the true needs of your customers, their context and their behavior, is absolutely crucial when inventing new delight attributes. Looking at what your competitors are doing won’t help much as the delight attribute will no longer be a delight by the time you have imitated it.

Christian Holst: UX and the Kano Model


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