GVU BROWN BAG: John Zimmerman, CMU

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Applying product attachment theory in the practice of experience design—a design inquiry

ABSTRACT:  For
the last several years the interaction design community has been
undergoing a broadening of scope from usability to user experience;
attempting to make things that improve the quality of
people’s lives across a range of different contexts. One perspective
that seems potentially rich in the pursuit of experience, but that has
received little attention, is the theory on product attachment that
describes how people come to love their things. People invest
psychic energy into their possessions, developing attachment through
repeated use as they engage in a process of identity construction. What
the theory does not offer is any guidance on the process of making
things that have the intention of becoming life companions; things
people will come to love.

To
investigate the value of a product attachment perspective, I have taken
a research through design approach, making many different things.
Through a process of making and reflecting, I developed a philosophical
stance, which calls for interaction designers to focus on products that
help people move closer to their idealized sense of self in a specific
role; to create products that help people become the person they desire to be.
In this talk I will discuss how a research through design approach
worked to connect product attachment theory to the design process;
share a few example artifacts that have been designed as a result of
this stance; and detail how other interaction designers and HCI
practitioners might apply this perspective in practice.

BIO:  John
Zimmerman is an interaction designer and design researcher with a joint
appointment as an Associate Professor with the Human-Computer
Interaction Institute and the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon
University. John has three main research areas: (i) design of
interactive products through the application of product attachment
theory; (ii) mixed-initiative interfaces that combine human and machine
intelligence; and (iii) research-through-design as a design research
practice in HCI. John teaches courses in interaction design, HCI
methods, and the design of smart home applications. Prior to joining
Carnegie Mellon, John was a senior researcher in the adaptive systems
and interface group at Philips Research.

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High Performance Computing (HPC), College of Computing, School of Computer Science, School of Interactive Computing, School of Computational Science and Engineering

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Status
  • Created By: Louise Russo
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Feb 11, 2010 - 10:51am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:49pm