During the last lecture, we were introduced to 3 main nodes that influence the aesthetics or “form” of a product:
Function. Human factor. Emotion.
How different people’s opinion about a product may be influenced by certain associations that are important to them, such as:
– How useful it is
– How comfortable it is
– Whether it provides a link with their past
In my opinion, I think that a functional based product is something that compromises on the physical beauty or even the user’s comfort and focuses more on the product’s functionality and practicality. An example of this would be medical equipment such as an ultrasound machine.
An ultrasound machine is a product that requires a certain knowledge in order to use and it is used to see internal body structures through the application of ultrasound. It is mostly used to find the source to an illness or examine pregnant women. I think that products which are used in safety-critical situations such as an ultrasound machine are where aesthetics may never predominate. The designing process would be more on “how it works” instead of “how it looks like”.
I would say that a product that is more human-centered would be one that provides comfort that fits their target market and prioritizes user’s experience. For example, a baby stroller which is designed for both the parents and the baby.
I think a well-designed baby stroller takes into consideration both the comfort of the baby and the parent.They would provide ergonomic features such as ultra padded seats and shock absorbent head pad for a fragile baby, height adjustable handle bar for the parents, high-impact polymer composite wheels, etc. In this case, the designing process focuses more on fulfilling the comfort and convenience of the target users.
I think that a product that focuses on the emotional factor is one that leaves an impact on the user, and makes them feel good. One example I could think of is the classic rubber ducky.
The ubiquitous yellow rubber ducky is something that probably everyone is familiar with and has a long history since the 1970s till today. The product is eye catching and provides a soothing presence for toddlers during bath time. This childhood toy evokes a sense of playfulness in everyone, creates good memories and fulfills emotional satisfaction.
All in all, different products comes with a different purpose and target market, I think that as a designer, we should learn to differentiate and consider all these three components that influence the aesthetics of the product from the start of the designing process and hopefully strike a balance between all of them.