Building Long-Term Relationships between People and Products through Customization

2019-02-26T19:28:55Z (GMT) by Ashlesha Dhotey
History indicates that products shape human society. For example, with the
invention of the wheel came the infrastructural development of roads, rails and
other methods to commute, and the introduction of the telephone changed the
ways people communicate. Today’s devices such as mobile phones, wearables,
etc., have brought about massive cultural change and dictate the ways humans
interact with each other, with spaces, forms, and interfaces, as well as constantly
define the way humans perceive everyday products.

A lack of evolving product experience builds a shallow relationship between it and
the user, leading to a disposable attitude and behavior, which is problematic. The
constant volatile behavior of owning and discarding is dangerous for the
environment because it is unsustainable and negatively impacts the entire society
as a result causes a change of mindset towards human-relationships being more
transactional and less nostalgic (Rose, 2014). Although much work has been done
in the field of emotional design, designing for love, empathy, and sustainable
design, there is huge potential for designers to apply these theories to the design
of products that change over time to satisfy users’ evolving needs. This study
examines the role of design in motivating users to actively participate in
reconfiguring products in use over time to satisfy evolving needs and drives. The
hypothesis is that such actions will build a long-term humanistic relationship
between users and everyday objects, which will positively impact people and
the planet.

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