Do People Seek Pleasurable Products? A Questionnaire Study Shows the Relevance of Designing for Pleasure

By Denis A. Coelho and Sven Dahlman.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Apart from the satisfaction of fulfilling a utilitarian function, a product can give its user pleasure, not only in terms of its ergonomic fit but also through its aesthetic qualities (qualities pertaining to beauty) (MacDonald, 1998). The issue of pleasure in product design has received growing attention in recent years. As a result, the goal of human factors in product development enlarges from the relief of pain and discomfort and from contributing to the creation of safe and usable products to promoting the pleasures that products can bring to their users (Jordan & MacDonald, 1998).
Our objectives in this article are to discuss basic premises underlying theoretical constructs on ‘pleasure with products’, showing, at the same time, people’s positioning towards this new approach to ergonomic product design, and, most important, stimulate ideas for innovative pleasurable designs and for research to build pleasure into products.

Keywords: Pleasure, Questionnaire, Product Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.631-654. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 931.659KB).

Prof. Denis A. Coelho

Assistant Professor (Tenured), Technological Industrial Design Master of Science Program, Department of Electromechanical Engineering, Universidade da Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal

Denis A. Coelho has been responsible for the creation and development in the University of Beira Interior of an entirely new program of studies in Industrial Design (undergraduate studies leading to a Bachelor’s degree) and Technological Industrial Design (Masters program). He has also designed and helped design post-secondary programs of studies including Multimedia product development, E-commerce web applications and multimedia web applications. As a Mechanical Engineer with an Ergonomic Design and Production Management post-graduate education his research has focused in several areas. He has worked with car seat comfort (ergonomic design) and has also been interested in Management Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises, as well as providing a contribution to the advancement of ergonomic design methods. He has also participated and coordinated Multimedia design projects, focusing on the application of ergonomic guidelines at both the conceptual and application level. International exposure has included research performed in collaboration with Swedish and US universities, applied to the automotive and healthcare sectors.


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