Framework of Product Experience
Pieter Desmet, Paul Hekkert


In this paper we introduce a general framework of product experience that applies to all affective responses that can be experienced in human-product interaction. Three distinct components or levels of product experiences are discussed: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. All three components are distinguished in having their won lawful underlying process. The aesthetic level involves a product’s capacity to delight one or more of our sensory modalities. The meaning level involves our ability to assign personality or other expressive characteristics, and to assess the personal or symbolic significance of products. The emotional level involves those experiences that are typically considered in emotion psychology and in everyday language about emotions, such as love and anger, which are elicited by the appraised relational meaning of products. The framework indicates patterns the processes that underlie the different types of affective product experiences. These patterns are used to explain the personal and layered nature of product experience, and can be of value for designers because they can facilitate the designers’ structured attempts to ‘design for experience,’ that is, attempts to deliberately influence the experiential impact of new designs.

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