Abstract

Although several theoretical frameworks that aim to explain the emotional impact of product design have been introduced in design research literature, none of these frameworks clearly specifies the role of the product in these emotions. This paper reports a study that was designed to explore the variety of roles that products can play in emotional experiences. In a three staged experience sampling study, 29 participants produced 170 records of emotions experienced while interacting with products. Each case was examined in order to identify the antecedent event (the event triggering the emotion) and the mental object (what the emotion is about). The results indicated that several types of events involved in the user-product interaction can elicit an emotional experience: noticing a product; an event occurring during product usage; an entire usage episode; an external agent mentioning the product; and a change in the relationship between a user and a product . It was also found that the resulting emotional responses can be about (can be attributed to) several types of mental objects: a physical object, such as the particular product involved; the user or some other person; the actions of the user or the designer; the antecedent event itself. The results are used to identify and discuss eight distinct roles that products can play in the experience of emotions. In addition, examples are provided to illustrate how these roles can facilitate a structured approach to design for emotion.

Keywords:

Design and emotion, user-product interaction

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Jul 16th, 12:00 AM

The roles of products in product emotions an explorative study

Although several theoretical frameworks that aim to explain the emotional impact of product design have been introduced in design research literature, none of these frameworks clearly specifies the role of the product in these emotions. This paper reports a study that was designed to explore the variety of roles that products can play in emotional experiences. In a three staged experience sampling study, 29 participants produced 170 records of emotions experienced while interacting with products. Each case was examined in order to identify the antecedent event (the event triggering the emotion) and the mental object (what the emotion is about). The results indicated that several types of events involved in the user-product interaction can elicit an emotional experience: noticing a product; an event occurring during product usage; an entire usage episode; an external agent mentioning the product; and a change in the relationship between a user and a product . It was also found that the resulting emotional responses can be about (can be attributed to) several types of mental objects: a physical object, such as the particular product involved; the user or some other person; the actions of the user or the designer; the antecedent event itself. The results are used to identify and discuss eight distinct roles that products can play in the experience of emotions. In addition, examples are provided to illustrate how these roles can facilitate a structured approach to design for emotion.

 

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