In examining my WIGs and relating
them to the readings, I found clear trends running through all my objects. Firstly,
all my WIGs are tangible objects and the primary experiences I draw from them
are all “instrumental interactions”. Secondly, even though I am often drawn to
beautiful, intricately-made objects, I am most excited by simple, everyday
objects with slight modifications. I value functionality over aesthetic
experience but am particular about simplicity in colour and form, which, in
themselves, are aesthetic values. Many of my WIGs also solve problems or
improve my quality of life.
Looking at Desmet and Hekkert’s
Framework of Product Experience, I realized that I often base desirability on a
product’s “product-specific goals”; I primarily judge using instrumental
interactions, which involve using and operating an object. As Desmet and Hekkert
suggest, some users – like me – value consumer products that “serve particular
purposes” and “specific goals”. My product satisfaction, as a result, involves
meeting these goals. All my objects – from the heels to the kettle to the hole
punch – elicit positive emotions from me because they not only serve my
intended purposes for them but also exceed them. They are all everyday objects
with unique modifications (eg. added flashlight on the fan, outlets on the lamp,
roll-down top on the backpack) which go beyond my functional needs.
I also resonate with Desmet and
Hekkert’s point that product experience is grounded in the user’s motives and
values. Even though I love beauty, intricacy and colour for objects like
clothing, my motives change when it comes to purely functional objects. My
value for an aesthetic experience goes down because I do not need a functional
object to “delight one or more of [my] sensory modalities”.
Because I value functional objects
differently than I value wearable or decorative objects, I also found that I
value what Desmet and Hekkert describe as “luxury” over “attachment”. Many of
my WIGs have “symbolic value of a comfortable lifestyle” because their
existence improves my way of life. Prior to owning the Irenee heel, I couldn’t
find a heel that was both comfortable and functional for my height. Prior to
owning my portable fan, I had no way of easily keeping cool in the summer.
While the “attribution of meaning”
level of Desmet and Hekkert’s framework resonates strongly with my experience
with products, however, its levels on aesthetic pleasure and emotional response
are not as relevant with my WIGs. Nevertheless, this article in particular was
eye-opening for me to read while analyzing my WIGs. It showed that patterns can
be distinguished in the products we desire and that those patterns can “deliberately
influence the experiential impact of new designs”.
To summarize, I was
able to find repeating patterns in all the objects I found desirable. All of my
WIGs are functional, everyday objects with unique, added functions or
innovative tweaks. I value simplicity of design, form and colour – particularly
for functional objects – but care more about aesthetics when dealing with
wearable objects like the heels and the backpack. Another trend is that many of
my objects solved problems I had faced prior to owning the objects. These
patterns show that although product experience is complex, trends can be found
and used to facilitate design, as in Desmet and Hekkert’s proposed framework. I
have also realized how easily I could potentially be manipulated based solely on
the products I find desirable. Going into this challenge, I knew I would be
able to find some patterns but didn’t expect to discover so many trends running
through every one of my WIGs.
Desmet, Pieter and Paul Hekkert. “Framework of Product Experience.” International Journal of Design 1, no.1 (2007): 57-66.