The thing and I: understanding the relationship between user and product
Funology From Usability to Enjoyment (2003)
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The thing and I: understanding th...
MARC HASSENZAHL CHAPTER 3 The Thing and I: Understanding the Relationship Between User and Product 1. INTRODUCTION We currently witness a growing interest of the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community in user experience. It has become a catchphrase, calling for a holistic perspective and an enrichment of traditional quality models with non-utilitarian concepts, such as fun (Monk & Frohlich, 1999 Draper, 1999), joy (Glass, 1997), pleasure (Jordan, 2000), hedonic value (Hassenzahl, 2002a) or ludic value (Gaver & Martin, 2000). In the same vein, literature on experiential marketing stresses that a product should not longer be seen as simply delivering a bundle of functional features and benefits - it provides experiences. Customers want products "that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts and stimulate their minds" (Schmitt, 1999, p. 22). Experiential marketing assumes that customers take functional features, benefits, and product quality as a given. Even though the HCI community seems to embrace the notion that functionality and usability is just not enough, we are far from having a coherent understanding of what user experience actually is. The few existing models (e.g., Logan, 1984 Jordan, 2000) of user experience in HCI that incorporate aspects such as pleasure are rare and often overly simplistic. In the present chapter, I will propose a more complex model that defines key elements of user experience and their functional relations. Specifically, it aims at addressing aspects, such as (a) the subjective nature of experience per se (b) perception of a product (c) emotional responses to products in (d) varying situations. It is a more detailed and further developed version of a research model, I previously presented in Hassenzahl (2002a). I view it as a first step towards a better understanding of how people experience products and a valuable starting point for further in-depth theoretical discussions. 2. A MODEL OF USER EXPERIENCE Figure 1 shows an overview of the key elements of the model of user experience from (a) a designer perspective and (b) a user perspective. 1 Mark A. Blythe, Andrew F. Monk, Kees Overbeeke and Peter C. Wright (eds.), Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment, 1���12. �� 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
2 MARC HASSENZAHL consequences appeal satisfaction pleasure situation intended product character pragmatic attributes manipulation hedonic attributes stimulation identification evocation product features content functionality interaction presentation apparent product character pragmatic attributes manipulation hedonic attributes stimulation identification evocation consequences appeal satisfaction pleasure a) designer perspective b) user perspective product features content functionality interaction presentation Figure 1. Key elements of the model of user experience from (a) a designer perspective and (b) a user perspective (for details refer to text). A product has certain features (content, presentational style, functionality, interactional style) chosen and combined by a designer to convey a particular, intended product character (or gestalt Janlert & Stolterman, 1997 Mon��, 1997). A character is a high-level description. It summarizes a product's attributes, e.g., novel, interesting, useful, predictable. The character's function is to reduce cognitive complexity and to trigger particular strategies for handling the product. When individuals come in contact with a product, a process is triggered. First, people perceive the product's features. Based on this, each individual constructs a personal version of the product character - the apparent product character. This character consists of groups of pragmatic and hedonic attributes. Second, the apparent product character leads to consequences: a judgment about the product's appeal (e.g., "It is good/bad"), emotional consequences (e.g., pleasure, satisfaction) and behavioural consequences (e.g., increased time spend with the product). However, the consequences of a particular product character are not always the same. They are moderated by the specific usage situation. In the following, each key element is discussed in detail. 2.1 From the intended and apparent product character to consequences A product designer "fabricates" a character by choosing and combining specific product features, i.e., content, presentational style, functionality, interactional style.
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