Helander, M.G., Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Affective or pleasurable appreciation is nothing new. There are affective components in most of our daily decision making and action; the limbic system is in operation whether we want it or not. This is what we admit to when buying clothes, looking at objects of art, or selecting a birthday card. Hedonic Psychology has recently been recognized as an important research area (Kahneman, Diener and Schwarz, 1999). In the past Hedonic Psychology had a peripheral role. It did not thrive in the behaviorist or in the cognitive traditions. There is now an interest in applied cognitive psychology and in human factors engineering. Usability and Productivity are not enough. Unless a user or customer is pleased or entertained, they will abandon a web site or a store and look for alternative products. The purpose is therefore to design to induce affective response and a memorable experience. The human factors design paradigm has evolved: from Pain to Performance to Pleasure. We call this new science of design "Hedonomics". A major research problem is to develop verbal scales for assessment of affective factors in design. Assuming that the emotional repertoire in humans is unchanging, how can one assess changes in fashion and taste? What types of verbal descriptors can be used for interfaces and consumer products? Can one develop design tools for HCI and for industrial designers? In short - can one develop a science of affective design? This presentation gives only a few answers. Rather we will explore theories and design methods for Hedonomics and propose important areas for research.