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    RealPeople: making users' pleasure needs accessible to designers

    Accessible Design in the Digital World Conference 2005

    Dundee, Scotland, 23 - 25 August 2005


    Dr C Samantha Porter, Shayal Chhibber, Professor J Mark Porter & Lynda Healey


    Traditionally, the ergonomics input into the design process has focused on the physical and cognitive effort placed on the user; increasingly, designers are being encouraged to take an inclusive view of the individual by attempting to understand their emotional and 'pleasure' needs as well.

    Few of the methods that have been developed concerning user pleasure are available to the designer at an early stage in the design process, or in a format easily accessible to them with respect to their background and current working practices. In this paper the development of RealPeople; a DVD based 'pleasure resource' for designers is described; it is designed to inspire and inform the designer in the early stages of the design process; highlighting the key 'pleasure' needs of the target market and promoting greater empathy with the user.

    The resource that is being developed allows designers to specify a user group by selecting certain variables, and view statistically validated information concerning particular groups' generic attitudes towards products. They can also browse individual people's data, where there is more in-depth information about products that they find pleasurable, providing a more intimate portrait of different market segments.

    In order to produce such a resource, it was necessary to investigate the attitudes and needs of designers on the subject of 'pleasure' in design and the type of resource to ensure accessibility to them.

    Findings show that designers are aware of the necessity to satisfy the emotional needs of the user, but there has to be a compromise with other factors e.g. production costs. Those interviewed tended to rely upon 'quick and dirty' research methods, with few aware of techniques and data that relate specifically to user pleasure. They expressed great interest in a 'pleasure resource' that gave them access to information about specific market groups' emotional needs and the desirable characteristics of such a resource.


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