It Feels Brown: A Cognitive Semiotic Model (C-model) of User Experience

By Rebekah Ann Rousi.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

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

Cross-cultural studies examining user experience (UX) have been of interest for some time now. Cultural and social factors affect the way people experience and evaluate products. What is relevant to the consumers of one market is not necessarily relevant for others. Yet, products are becoming ever more standardised. Thus, the need to understand how design semantics operate cross-culturally is increasingly pertinent. The cognitive semiotic model (C-model) has been developed to examine the circular (‘C’) relationship between designs (designer representation), user experiences (mental processing), and how these experiences are related (user representation). An experiment was implemented asking participants to write brief qualitative responses based on their experiences of touching and seeing three design objects. Content analysis of the data revealed nine construct categories illustrating how users experienced the designs and their semantic properties. The categories have been used to establish a framework to aid future cross-cultural UX research and design.

Keywords: Design, Interaction, User Experience, Semiotic, Cognitive Model, Semantics

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.39-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 750.076KB).

Rebekah Ann Rousi

PhD Student, Cognitive Science, Faculty of Information Technology, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

Rebekah Rousi is a Cognitive Science PhD candidate and researcher of user-design interaction at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Rousi has trained as a visual artist, in print media and has practiced as a performance artist. Her PhD research is about analyzing user experience from a semiotic perspective, focusing on the relationship between verbal representations of design experiences and mental representations of these experiences. Her research interests include: user experience, affective interaction, conscious and unconscious experience, embodiment, architecture, augmented reality, human-robot interaction as well as art and design history from a socio-political perspective.