From Product to Experience
Marc Hassenzahl (Folkwang University, DE)
In his In the blink of an eye, Walter Murch (2001, pp. 17), the Oscar-awarded editor of the English Patient, Apocalypse Now and many other outstanding movies, devises the Rule of Six – six criteria for what makes a good cut. On the top of his list is "to be true to the emotion of the moment," a quality more important than advancing the story or being rhythmically interesting. The major aim of the cut is to deliver a meaningful, compelling, and emotion-rich "experience" to the audience. Because, "what they finally remember is not the editing, not the camerawork, not the performances, not even the story – it's how they felt" (p. 18) or in other terms: what they experienced.
People seem to instantly grasp the concept of experience as a stream of feelings, thought, and action meandering through time. They can readily see the difference between owning a bottle of good wine and its actual consumption. The bottle is not an experience in itself, but through consumption it will turn into one. Experience appears self-evident.
Despite its self-evidence, experience is notoriously elusive from a designer's perspective. Whereas people usually can tell, whether they have a positive experience (or not) at a given moment in time, the underlying reasons for their experience may be less accessible and clear. Accordingly, to design an experience, or at least to design for an experience, becomes a major challenge. Admittedly, technology, interactive products, or work systems are neither the movies nor are they wine; however, their users are still humans and, thus, experience will matter. User experience (UX) is Human-Computer Interaction's (HCI) version of experience – experience that comes about by using interactive products. The talk will give an overview of User Experience and examples of experience-oriented design.
Capturing the dynamics of user experience
Paul Hekkert (Delft University of Technology, NL)
In many studies in the field of Ux, it is stressed that experiences are dynamic and often fluctuate over time. Despite this, assessments of people’s experiences are mostly carried out at a fixed point in time. Few studies have actually measured and interpreted the dynamic qualities of our everyday experiences.
In this presentation we will discuss some of the theoretical and methodological problems related to tapping people’s ongoing user experiences. Various qualitative and quantitative techniques will be demonstrated that allow us to capture the dynamics of emotion, person-product love, and multi-modal experience.
Applying product attachment theory in the practice of experience design inquiry
John Zimmerman (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
For the last several years the interaction design community has been undergoing a broadening of scope from usability to user experience; attempting to make things that improve the quality of people’s lives across a range of different contexts. One perspective that seems potentially rich in the pursuit of experience, but that has received little attention, is the theory on product attachment that describes how people come to love their things. People invest psychic energy into their possessions, developing attachment through repeated use as they engage in a process of identity construction. What the theory does not offer is any guidance on the process of making things that have the intention of becoming life companions; things people will come to love.
To investigate the value of a product attachment perspective, I have taken a research through design approach, making many different things. Through a process of making and reflecting, I developed a philosophical stance, which calls for interaction designers to focus on products that help people move closer to their idealized sense of self in a specific role; to create products that help people become the person they desire to be. In this talk I will share a few example artifacts that have been designed as a result of this stance and detail how other interaction designers might apply this perspective in practice.
Should designers (dis)trust statistics?
Jean-Bernard Martens (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL)
Last year, in a CHI paper that Evangelos Karapanos co-authored with Marc Hassenzahl and myself, he argued that statistical averaging is often not a sensible approach when analyzing subjective judgments, as such an approach doesn’t do justice to the diversity between individuals’ perceptions. Specifically, opinions that are not shared by a lot of subjects are likely to disappear in the averaging, while such deviations from the average opinion might be more important to discover for a designer than the average opinion itself. In the CHI paper we propose an approach where multiple views instead of a single average view are created from collected data, where each view accounts for part of the observations. While this is a definite step forward, there are two key problems with the proposed approach that we are trying to resolve with a new approach that I present in this talk. First, there are still many (although fewer) observations left unaccounted for in the approach proposed in the CHI paper, which is contradicting the underlying philosophy. This is related to some build-in (a priori) criteria in the method. I will discuss how such a priori criteria might be avoided. Second, the method doesn’t provide a good visualization of the results, which means for instance that observed data cannot easily be compared to generalized model predictions. I will show how different, but related, visualizations can assist in comparing model predictions with individual observations.
This talk is partly a reaction to the quote by Aaron Levenstein that Evan cites on the first page of his thesis: “Statistics are like a bikini. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” I want to demonstrate that this is actually a remark on how most people tend to use statistics, and doesn’t really do justice to statistics itself.
Quantifying Diversity in User Experience
PhD defense of Evangelos Karapanos
As the field of Human-Computer interaction evolves from the study of the usability of interactive products towards a more holistic understanding of the psychological and social impact of products on people’s lives, we need new methods for inquiring into users‘ experiences. This thesis identifies the notion of diversity in users’ experiences with interactive products, and proposes methods and tools for modeling two different sources of diversity: (a) interpersonal diversity in users‘ responses to early conceptual designs, and (b) the dynamics of users’ experiences over time.
Personal Attribute Judgments, and the Repertory Grid Technique, are proposed as an alternative to standardized psychometric scales for modeling interpersonal diversity in users’ responses to early concepts in the design process, and new Multi-Dimensional Scaling procedures are introduced for modeling these highly complex quantitative data.
iScale, a tool for the retrospective assessment of users’ experiences over time is proposed as an alternative to longitudinal field studies, and a semi-automated technique for the analysis of the elicited experience narratives is introduced.
Through these two methodological contributions, this thesis argues against averaging in the subjective evaluation of interactive products. It proposes the development of interactive tools that can assist designers in moving across multiple levels of abstraction of empirical data, as design-relevant knowledge might be found on all these levels.
Marc Hassenzahl is a Professor for "Ergonomics and User Experience" at the Folkwang University in Essen and research manager at MediaCity, Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa, Finland. He is particular interested in the positive affective and motivational aspects of interactive technologies – in short: User Experience. He is founding and active board member of the German Usability Professionals' Association.
Paul Hekkert, PhD is full professor of form theory at the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology. There he chairs the section design aesthetics and supervises a research group carrying out research on our sense perception and (emotional) experience of products [see: http://studiolab.io.tudelft.nl/dfe/]. He has published on product experience and aesthetics in major international journals and is co-editor of “Design and Emotion: The experience of everyday things”  and “Product experience” . Paul is co-founder and chairman of the Design and Emotion society [www.designandemotion.org] and has co-organized six consecutive international Design & Emotion conferences. Together with a colleague/designer, he developed an interaction-centred design approach, called Vision in Product design (ViP) that is widely applied in both education and industry. They presently work on a book in which this approach is laid down. Paul serves as a member of the editorial boards of The Design Journal, Empirical Studies of the Arts, and the International Journal of Design.
John Zimmerman is an interaction designer and design researcher with a joint appointment as an Associate Professor with the Human-Computer Interaction Institute and the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. John has three main research areas: (i) design of interactive products through the application of product attachment theory; (ii) mixed-initiative interfaces that combine human and machine intelligence; and (iii) research-through-design as a design research practice in HCI. John teaches courses in interaction design, HCI methods, and the design of smart home applications. Prior to joining Carnegie Mellon, John was a senior researcher in the adaptive systems and interface group at Philips Research.
Jean-Bernard Martens is a full-time professor on Visual Interaction in de Department of Industrial Design of the TU/e. His chosen research area “Visual Interaction” addresses aspects such as tangible user interfaces, augmented and virtual environments for activities such as design, medical image diagnosis, gaming, co-located collaborative work, etc. In order to support this line of research he has created the ConceptLab, a futuristic design studio in which new technologies are deployed to assist in conceptual design of interactive systems (see http://www.conceptlab.id.tue.nl). In the past he has performed research in other related areas, such as: Image processing and analysis (visual pattern recognition),
Visual perception in humans,
Quantitative research methods and statistical models.
Some of these topics are covered in his book “Image Technology Design – A Perceptual Approach” (published by Kluwer Academic Publishers in 2003). Recently he has also started research that aims at acquiring a better understanding of end-user technology acceptance and rich user experiences.
Evangelos Karapanos is a Human-Computer Interaction researcher with an interest in computational tools that assist the analysis of quantitative and qualitative research data. He obtained a BSc degree in Physics with a specialization in electronics, computing and signal processing. During his studies he worked on a part time basis as a web programmer which brought him to the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). He conducted his BSc dissertation at the HCI group of the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the same university, on model-based design and evaluation of walk-up-and-use interfaces. He subsequently pursued a MSc in HCI with Ergonomics at University College London. His MSc dissertation, which was part of an internship at Philips Research Eindhoven, focused on the user acceptance of nomadic user interfaces. He has been a visiting researcher at Philips Consumer Lifestyle from 2006 to 2008 and a visiting scholar of the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.