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Shoes, Cars, and Other Love Stories: Investigating The Experience Of Love For Products
The initial motivation to investigate the experience of love for products came from a previous research (Russo, 2004 and prologue). I was intrigued by the fact that participants in a usability test seemed to be emotionally involved with some products they owned, stating that they loved them. This involvement seemed to increase their acceptance of the product, moderate their perception of effectiveness and efficiency in product use, and to give them higher levels of satisfaction than should be expected on the basis of the observed usability of those products. People often mention their love for products casually.
This thesis presents an iterative and systematic research into the experience of love for products. Its six chapters describe a journey in unravelling and clarifying this complex, powerful and, sometimes, unexplainable experience people have with special products they love, own, and use. The main questions addressed in this thesis are the following. What is the experience of love for products? How can we investigate love in the field of design? How are person-product interactions connected to the experience of love? How do person-product interactions influence the experience of love over time? These questions are addressed with particular attention to the relevance of the findings to design. As you accompany me in this journey, you will find that love for products can be measured, explained through simple concepts, linked to interactions people have with products, and tracked over time.
The findings of this research inform us not only about what it is to love a product. They also present opportunities for design researchers and product developers to foster rewarding experiences and long-lasting person-product relationships.
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