Examining the “Later Wow” through Operating a Metaphorical Product
Ming-Huang Lin, Shih-Hung Cheng


Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa coined the term “later wow” to describe a kind of emotional response to using a product—a sort of deferred surprise. The “first wow,” on the other hand, is associated with the first impression of an object, mostly based on its appearance. To study the “later wow” phenomenon—especially as it occurs in the domain of metaphorical products with various modes of operation—we first propose three interaction modes as the framework by integrating concepts from narrative grammar, an interaction protocol from product semantics, and incongruity–resolution theory in humor perception. Following a pilot study to verify that user surprise shifts significantly in the different operational steps, we conducted in-depth interviews to investigate users’ responses during actual product operation, especially in relation to unexpected pleasure. We found that the “later wow” is certainly related to clarifying confusion caused by the referential quality of the product, and is triggered initially by the discovery of unexpected qualities that are solved through operation.

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