Needs, affect, and interactive products – Facets of user experience [updt]

Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S., and Göritz, A. (2010). Needs, affect, and interactive products – facets of user experience. Interacting with Computers, 22:353-362.

Subsumed under the umbrella of User Experience (UX), practitioners and academics of Human–Computer Interaction look for ways to broaden their understanding of what constitutes ‘‘pleasurable experiences” with technology. The present study considered the fulfilment of universal psychological needs, such as competence, relatedness, popularity, stimulation, meaning, security, or autonomy, to be the major source of positive experience with interactive technologies. To explore this, we collected over 500 positive experiences with interactive products (e.g., mobile phones, computers). As expected, we found a clear relationship between need fulfilment and positive affect, with stimulation, relatedness, competence and popularity being especially salient needs. Experiences could be further categorized by the primary need they fulfil, with apparent qualitative differences among some of the categories in terms of the emotions involved. Need fulfilment was clearly linked to hedonic quality perceptions, but not as strongly to pragmatic quality (i.e., perceived usability), which supports the notion of hedonic quality as ‘‘motivator” and pragmatic quality as ‘‘hygiene factor.” Whether hedonic quality ratings reflected need fulfilment depended on the belief that the product was responsible for the experience (i.e., attribution).

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