Challenge 8: Design POV

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According to Desmet and Hekkert’s Framework Product Experience, the user response to a product can be classified
into the three categories: aesthetic, emotional, and meaningful. Aesthetic is our perceptual system that captures the gratification of senses. Emotional is the elicitation and response of feelings and visceral reactions. Experience of meaning is the cognitive system attaching personal or symbolic
significance.

Almost all ES 22 projects are first rooted in two of the three
concepts above, with the third concept often “activated” – as Desmet calls it –
through the design process. The projects that most evidently demonstrate this are probably immersive
experience, platform design, and design for behavioral change. In the immersive
experience challenge, I came up with an upgraded Sims game (SimsGo) where users
experience this complete, alternate reality world via their avatars. The user
preference input (such as political and religious affiliations) and control of how much difference there could be reflect an
active recognition of their values. The game, benefitting from the already
established Sims world, is pleasant to the eye and overall enjoyable. In platform design, my group’s
learning platform for migrants (Ren to Learn) focused on the emotional and meaningful
aspects. As the group of individuals who are at the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder—with questionable legal status in some cases and underpaid work in all
cases—migrants have much room for upward advancement but limited mobility to
do so. As one’s status is an emotional subject that also influences their worldview,
we used that motivation to connect the often isolated migrants as a network to
advance together. In the behavioral change challenge for Millennials to save money long term, Walleta filled in the gap between the increasingly abstract methods of
payment (Apple Pay, PayPal) and actual balance in the bank account. By sending automated reminders
and giving Millennials information on their peers’ collective status, the
project was able to combine aesthetic app design, emotional attachment to
financial well-being, and the meaning of purchase together.

In terms of the weekly What I’ve Got posts, I noticed that I
tend to focus on an item’s usability and reward clever design. Both of the two “design
fail” posts are about products that have dubious functionality: Liquiteria’s boxed water
seemed just to be a different packaging for no apparent reason and unjustified higher
cost. China’s straddling bus came from a great
concept, but leaves much more to be desired in terms of actually being able to
operate on the roads. The stronger examples, such as Kingii the flotation
device, Withings smartwatch, Tabletote computer stand, and the produce ripeness sticker, all have been used
and experienced personally. I found that they make the world a more accessible and
productive place. The creative shopping bags and the dancing traffic light
reflect clever designs that are integrated with everyday functions. However,
their impact and implementation are comparatively limited. I’ve really enjoyed posting WIGs and also read about others’ weekly findings.

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