Looking back at my “What I’ve Got” submissions, two primary characteristics come immediately to mind: function and color, so I will discuss both of those here.
First, in a number of my submissions, I identify functionality, usability, and quality as key design features. For example, my backpack has a mesh panel, my flannel sheets are very durable, and my coat has many pockets. Using Desmet and Hekkert’s paradigm, the satisfaction I get from experiencing these qualities would probably be classified as emotional experiences.
However, in my WIG submissions, I also almost universally identified some physical features of the product that I find appealing, which fit in with Desmet and Hekkert’s concept of aesthetic experience since they have a “capacity to delight one or more of [my] sensory modalities” (p. 59). Even though not all design is visual, I come to this class with a deep appreciation for the visual arts, particularly for the use of color. In many of my submissions, including flannel sheets, drinking glasses, and moleskin coat, I identified bright, vibrant colors as an appealing feature of the design. Even though I did not previously mention color as a key desirable trait of my other product submissions, after reflecting upon them, I realize that they too almost universally shared these strong colors. I also sometimes identified sleek, modern shapes as a desirable physical characteristic. I tend to rely very heavily on my visual experience , as opposed to—for example—Desmet and Hekkert’s example of the sound of a teacup, though I do value comfort and softness in my sheets.
The area of Desmet and Hekkert’s paper that isn’t really represented in my WIGs is the experience of meaning. However, I do strongly value sentimentality, and I have a number of things that I find personally desirable because they make me nostalgic for experiences that I have previously had. However, I wouldn’t say this would be as much a part of my design philosophy. Though I may enjoy using products that have sentimental value, I generally prefer design that is forward-thinking in nature.
Desmet, P. M. A., & Hekkert, P. (2007). Framework of product experience. International Journal of Design, 1(1), 57-66.