Beauty as a source of value

Beauty as a source of value

Beauty is an important ingredient of our daily lives. We admire and praise the beauty of nature, architecture, music, other people… Given its pervasiveness, the lack of research addressing aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is striking. ~Marc Hassenzahl Text extracted from “Aesthetics in interactive products: Correlates and consequences of beauty” by Marc Hassenzahl Obviously, beauty is a source of value. In one study, participants saw and rated pictures of two different toasters. While being equal in function, the toasters differed in beauty. Among other things, participants were asked to state their willingness to pay for both toasters. On average, participants were willing to spend $37.20 on the beautiful toaster, but only $24.05 on the not so beautiful toaster. In other words, beauty was worth $13.16, i.e. an increase of about 55%. Although the notion that beauty adds value seems intuitive, studies reveal a more complex picture. Whether beauty adds value can depend on individual or situational aspects. In the toaster study already mentioned above, it was identified an individual difference, the so-called centrality of visual product aesthetics (CVPA), as an important moderator of beauty’s value. CVPA subsumes three aspects: Value, acumen and response. Individuals with a high CVPA attach personal value to beauty (e.g., “Beautiful product designs make our world a better place to live”); they think of themselves as connoisseurs, able to perceive the subtlest differences in beauty (e.g., “I see things in a product’s design that other people tend to pass over”) and they strongly respond to beautiful things (e.g., “If a product’s design really ‘speaks’ to me, I feel that I must buy it”). High CVPA individuals are more prone to use a visual style of processing, they more strongly desire...
UX thesis digital curation

UX thesis digital curation

Curation has a distinguished history in cultural institutions. In galleries and museums, curators use judgment and a refined sense of style to select and arrange art to create a narrative, evoke a response, and communicate a message. As the digital landscape becomes increasingly complex, and as businesses become ever more comfortable using the web to bring their product and audience closer, the techniques and principles of museum curatorship can inform how we create online experiences—particularly when we approach content. Bloggers can also be considered as curators and experts of a particular subject, hand-picking others’ assets around a particular theme or topic and then layering in their own distinct voice. When a site launches, your audience arrives to learn more about what you know most about. It’s critical to create a content experience with purpose, that is consistent and contextual. This helps to assert your brand’s authority, establishes relationships with your audience, and secures a return visit based on your content’s value. The content strategist-as-curator is the one who makes this happen. UX thesis is a digital curation website. The aim of this project is to establish and develop long term repositories of User Experience digital assets (thesis, papers, workshop papers, book chapters, reports) for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, historians, and...
On the art of choosing

On the art of choosing

Every day we make choices. Coke or Pepsi? Save or spend? Stay or go? These choices define us and shape our lives. Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices — and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2010, July 2010 in Oxford, UK. Duration:...
1st Brazilian Seminar on D&E

1st Brazilian Seminar on D&E

The Seminar was a landmark for the launching of the Porto Alegre / Brazil local Design & Emotion Chapter. It was fully booked several weeks before it happened. We had some press coverage, including contents broadcasted on the radio, in newspapers and trough the Internet. We have also sent invitations to professors and students in every Graduate Design Program in Brazil, as well as to Design Companies. The result was an auditorium crowded to its limit, filled with 180 people ready to see some lectures – specially the one from our keynote speaker, Pieter Desmet – and to take part in a workshop.  The result was an auditorium crowded to its limit, filled with 180 people The morning started with a presentation from Leandro Tonetto, focused on describing what designing for emotions is and its main approaches. Tonetto was followed by Marcos Nähr and his excellent set of experience-driven examples. Filipe Campelo was the third speaker, and his lecture included a description about what has been done in Brazil in the field, and also a research agenda. The morning ended with an inspiring presentation from Pieter Desmet, who said that designing should be seen as an “act of love”, and spread some impressive ideas on Design for Happiness. We consider this first Brazilian Seminar as a succes! We can’t wait to see the following...
How Communities Differ from Teams

How Communities Differ from Teams

Communities of practice are different from teams, though less so as originally thought. Like successful teams, successful communities have goals, deliverables, assigned leadership, accountability for results, and metrics. But they are distinct from teams in four ways: 1. The long view Communities are responsible for the long-term development of a body of knowledge or discipline, even when they have annual goals. Teams, in contrast, focus on a specific deliverable. 2. Peer collaboration and collective responsibility Community leaders establish the direction of the community, connect members, and facilitate discussions, but do not have authority over members. 3. Intentional network expansion Professionals typically consult their peers for help with unusual or difficult technical problems. Communities  deliberately seek to expand the internal and external resources and experts available to individuals. 4. Knowledge management Teams typically do not have ongoing responsibility for organizing and documenting what a company has learned in a  domain; rather, they focus on a given problem. Communities steward the knowledge in their domain with a view toward  solving problems that have not yet been discovered. At many companies, employees form groups to share knowledge and attack common problems. These communities of  practice can be a powerful management tool. When communities of practice first began to appear, everybody hailed them as a dirt-cheap way to distribute knowledge  and share best practices. It was thought that they would be relatively self-organizing and self-sustaining, flying below the  radar of organizational hierarchy. Companies thought they would flourish with little executive oversight—a notion that seemed to work well at the time.  But as life and business have become more complex, we began to see that to make a difference over the long term, communities needed far more structure and oversight. Despite this, communities remain more efficient and cheaper than other organizational resources and demand less  oversight. In times when budgets have shrunk and...