After reading the “Framework of Product Experience” by Pieter Desmet and Paul Hekkert, I have been reflecting upon my personal “Design Point of View” and have noticed several trends with regard to what I perceive as desirable. The process of creating weekly “What I’ve Got” posts has allowed me to recognize what I notice throughout my life as desirable products, and how I may perceive desirability differently from others. My life experiences, emotions, and aesthetic preferences all contribute to my overall satisfaction with products, in ways that may be similar or different from the satisfaction others perceive from those same products.
One of the primary trends I noticed among my “What I’ve Got” posts was that I find products with a perceived function as desirable. Many of my posts include products that serve a function for me and have some type of added value to my life. While function is the primary factor for how I recognize desirable products, the manner in which they create a response for me also contributes to why I consider something desirable. The emotional response I get from a highly functional product is a strong trend amongst my WIGs. For example, the Nest thermostat and Wemo light switches, connected to my Alexa, make my home more interconnected and allow me to more easily control the temperature and lights with just my voice. The emotional pleasure and comfort of more convenience makes these products more desirable to me. Another one of my WIGs was my new MacBook Pro, which is highly functional, yet very user-friendly. Having purchased this, replacing my six-year old MacBook Pro elicited joy and happiness by how much faster this new version performs. I also selected the Devialet Phantom speakers as a desirable product, which are some of the best sounding speakers I have ever heard. A high-quality, functional product that can bring me joy, ease, or comfort is one of the primary features for how I identify desirable products.
In addition to the emotional response I get from products, the aesthetic qualities of a product also play a large role in how I perceive desirability of products. My Ray-Ban sunglasses serve the function of protecting my eyes from the sun, but I also find the aesthetic shape and look of the sunglasses to be very appealing. My design style leans towards a modern, yet classic style. My Alo Yoga Goddess leggings are another example of a product that is highly functional, yet aesthetically pleasing. The leggings are comfortable, great to work out in, the fabric is soft but also moisture-wicking, and the leggings have a unique, clean, modern look to them that I really like.
While I tend to be more influenced by products that serve a purpose and elicit an emotional or aesthetic response, I also noticed among my WIGs that an experience of meaning will sometimes influence what I consider desirable. For example, my Oakley ski goggles serve the function of protecting my eyes from sun, rain, or snow while I’m on the slopes, but they stood out to me as a desirable product in my home because they reminded me of being at the mountain and how much I enjoy skiing. I also identified Rent the Runway as desirable, and attribute this to the meaning associated with the service. I’ve used Rent the Runway to rent dresses for weddings and formal events, and the great times and meaning I associate with the events that I wore the dresses to makes my experience of the product even better. These products have not only served their function for me, but the representation and life events that I associate with these products makes me more satisfied with them.
Overall, I highly prioritize products that serve a function in my life and in some way make my life more comfortable or convenient. I am emotionally-driven, and products that can bring me joy, comfort, convenience, and pleasure strongly appeal to me. I favor product designs that have an aesthetically clean, simple, modern, yet classic style. If a product happens to remind me of a great experience or life event, my perceived desirability of the product also increases, but this did not seem to be a primary driver in my design preference. Functional, user-friendly products that elicit an emotional response are at the core of my design perspective.