Design Point of View

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For a very long time, I’ve considered myself to have an eye
for aesthetics. I appreciate aesthetically pleasing products and strive to use
such products in every part of my life, including what I wear, what I do for
leisure, and even what I shave my face with. However, the Framework of Product
Experience made me realize that there my taste for certain products was driven
by far more than aesthetics.

My wearable story featured the Ray Ban Wayfarers, because I
thought that it was a beautifully designed pair of sunglasses. Through the lens
of the product experience framework, it was evident that there was more to my
decision that I hadn’t explicitly thought about. Ray Ban designed the Wayfarer more
than half a century ago, and since then it’s had multiple declines and
resurgences in popularity. Along the way it has been sported by the most iconic
celebrities and what’s most extraordinary is that the designed has barely
changed since its inception. It’s obvious that my choice of the Wayfarers were
based not only on the aesthetic experience, but also the experience of meaning
and the emotional experience. I was drawn towards the Wayfarers because they
represent half a century of heritage and carry the endorsement of style icons
across generations. The fact that the design has remained the same under
changing tastes carries a special meaning to me. Lastly, this timeless nature
of the design leaves me feeling inspired—an emotional experience.

In fact, emotional experience elicited by meaning is a
common pattern across the choices that I’ve made. Another (completely different)
product that follows this pattern is the Harry’s shaving set, my first
#whativegot. Harry’s, the well put-together cousin of Dollar Shave Club, is a shaving
company that wants to fix shaving with its inexpensive auto-replenish feature.
I was initially attracted to the brand by its chic aesthetic, but it was their brand
mission
(to make high quality shaving affordable for everyone) that actually
got me buy in. Again, it was the experience of meaning that elicited the emotion
of admiration. My most recent challenge, the H Sweater campaign followed the
same principles. In addition to making the sweater seem less pretentious, I
wanted to emphasize the heritage behind the sweater itself. As a result, I
chose the tagline “It’s H for History” and the caption “Every H Sweater tells a
story”. Unknowingly, I had been trying to create the experience of meaning and
elicit an emotional experience with these two themes.

Evidently, it’s the products that hit all three levels of
experience that are the most desirable. Aesthetically, it has to be beautiful.
But that’s not enough- it must also have a compelling personality that resonates
with the target customer and elicits an emotional response. If the aesthetic
experience were a person’s appearance, the experience of meaning would be
his/her personality, which can cause other people to feel a certain emotion
towards them (the emotional experience).  For me personally, the most desirable products
are those that have withstood the test of time. These products and their
respective brands carry a rich heritage and will always be around. With the
rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence, there has emerged a new
class of products that also exude these traits. In fact, these products take
the emotional experience to a whole new level. One example is the Amazon Echo-
a home speaker with a friendly voice activated AI named Alexa, who will satisfy
your every request and even get smarter as it learns more about you. These
products are also aesthetically beautiful, personable, and have the ability to
create powerful emotional attachments with the user.

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