Current design strategies besides considering functional and aesthetics features of products focus on implementing practices that enable understanding emotions of the user. A lot of research has been done in this area, resulting in innovative approaches to new product development.
Research question “How to design products in context of human emotions?” aims to find out what the tangible solutions concerning emotional design are by looking at scientific knowledge about human emotional system, recent companies and universities research about emotional design and new design strategies that consider emotional aspects of design. Gathered Information will be analysed concerning their usefulness and efficiency in design practice. Some conclusions might lead to new questions which would require separate investigation about specific topic e. g. data collection and its analysis in context of some other research findings in order to prove its validity. Finally estimation will be made of what is the future of emotional design and where does it lead.
This research will focus on, in the first stage, analysis of written paperwork from different sources about emotional design and its content and textual analysis. Next stage will be the confrontation of found information with self-performed research in order to prove efficiency or inefficiency of some theory or strategy. Video-recorded interviews and questionnaires will be necessary in order to compare results from other sources with the ones conducted independently. Emotions are hard to express and even with best intentions of respondent the answers on a questionnaire might differ from the true emotional state. Having a full picture of respondent fill in the survey will be of great importance during data analysis because it will enable more accurate emotion interpretation. Separate research might be done concerning proper survey analysis in order to perform a fully professional studies of collected data. Finally contacting design companies and academic institutions might be necessary in case of quires and doubts about some research data found during library-based or internet based searches.
For case studies analysis two examples where taken both concerning design for experience in order to show scale of differences in design practice, although dealing with the same specific area of emotional design.
PDD Ltd, an innovation design consultancy has currently over 30 years experience in developing products and services. Although always looking for innovative solutions in design practice it was hard to state(because of lack of mail or email response) what where the specific previous practices in the company before these presented in below case study. However it is possible, judging by the following quotation, that previous practices relied on designers own experience and ideas and stimuli materials:
“There are number of ways the project could have been approached, Firstly taking into account the core design team were mostly young and male then surely they had a prrety good idea of what was cool… Often design team look at existing objects and technology and build up lifestyle images such as pictures of extreme sports, snowboarding,…”(Crossley, 2004:37;)
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