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Causes of Emotive Response to Artefacts

Viktor Hiort af Ornäs , MariAnne Karlsson

Emotions are one important aspect of how we experience artefacts. The question is what influences these emotions? As the first of a series of studies addressing this issue, a Focus Group session has been conducted. The participants were all adult consumers, men and women, in different ages. The topics investigated in the interviews concerned what emotions are associated with artefacts, and what product characteristics may have evoked these emotions, as well as more open-ended questions about other influencers of emotions. The results were descriptions of situations in which the participants had experienced emotions related to artefacts and the design of artefacts, as well as a list of factors expected to influence the emotive response to products. The results have been analysed in order to describe the source(s) of the emotion related to artefacts, i.e. whether the emotions may be attributed to the artefact or other factors. The participants? comments tell us that the artefact in itself cannot always explain their experiences with products. The activity in which the products are used and contextual factors play an important role, as do the individual characteristics of the user.


affective design, Artefacts, design, emotion, Focus group interviews, New product development, User centered design