11 Chapters
Medium 9781605096988

Chapter 9 Emotion’s Role in Technology Products

Boatwright, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Chapter 9 examines the emotion of technology in the domains of nanotechnology, medical products and healthcare, space systems, and robotics. Some if not all of these technologies would be considered by most to be unemotional, removed from that which is human.

Emotion is often contrasted with all that is rational and analytical, as in logical arguments versus emotional ones, or analytical decisions versus emotional ones. Technology falls clearly on the side of the objective and rational and may seem like it has nothing to do with anything emotional.

Throughout Built to Love we have demonstrated that emotion is critical to the success of all companies, including those selling technology-based products. We will see that even in the most extreme use of technology, product emotions provide value to customers. The following examples illustrate how emotions affect the design of emerging technologies and how emerging technologies affect our emotions.

Technology today advances with such rapidity and complexity that, for many, fear initially overtakes hope. Think, for example, of nanotechnology, which is the study of nanometer-scale machines that are one-billionth of a meter in size—about the scale of a molecule or 1000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Nanotechnology is used today in products for better antibacterial surfaces, lighter and stronger composite materials, and shinier cosmetics, among others. As nanotechnology advances, it will continue to be developed into products used by people in a variety of arenas, including energy, medicine, and electronics.

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Chapter 1 Product Emotions

Boatwright, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We have all seen large “big-rig” trucks rambling down the interstate. Each of those 40,000-pound vehicles is a small business on wheels, driven by an employee or by the business owner himself. For trucks, as with other small businesses, business profits require efficiency. Fuel-cost increases have made profit margins slimmer than ever before, and weight restrictions (on the whole truck—cab and trailer) mean that every pound counts. Money is made delivering payload, so the weight in the cab is minimal, maximizing payload weight.

The truck is not only a business, but is also a home—a very small home, roughly the floor area of a two-person tent, a mini room in which the driver needs to sleep, eat, and change clothes, and also watch movies, read, play video games, and do deskwork. There is no separate living and sleeping area, no place to change or freshen up, few places to store belongings, and no place to prepare even a sandwich. This is where the driver spends his time while on the road.

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Chapter 7 The Emotion of Form and Touchpoints to Create It

Boatwright, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Sexy sports cars, fierce pickup trucks, bold tools, sleek phones: the visual form of a product exudes emotion. These emotions can be intense and exciting (as with a Ferrari), or they can be the subdued emotions of the comfortable and familiar (as with a Honda). There are no emotionless product forms, for even the idea of emotionless evokes repulsive feelings of deadness, fatigue, and dreariness.

A product’s visual form is a highly influential source of value to customers, steadily supplying product emotions that are experienced every time a customer looks at, touches, or uses a product. Each and every interaction of the customer with the product is a touchpoint, a means to stimulate emotion and implement a product emotion strategy.

Touchpoints are the end result of emotion-based design (or any approach to design). They are the last step in the Model of Creating Products that Captivate Customers (see Figure 6.1 in the previous chapter). There are other ways to create emotion besides visual touchpoints, such as the feel of using a product or of relating to service personnel during a transaction. In Chapter 7, we focus on a product’s visual identity as an example of how to evoke product emotions.

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Contents

Boatwright, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9781605096988

Chapter 5 Supported Emotions: The Key to Today’s Leading Products

Boatwright, Peter Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Unlike commonly found associated emotions, the less frequently used supported emotions are delivered by the product itself, evoked by features or attributes of the physical product, software, service, or brand. Today’s marketplace is looking for an authentic relationship with its products. Supported emotions are the only means to deliver that authentic relationship.

Supported emotions result in high customer engagement and they also get customers talking. Those who own the product talk to their friends or write on their blogs because customers talk about what moves them at an emotional level. The word spreads. Word-of-mouth offers the potential for exponential sales growth as each customer talks to a few friends, some of whom buy the product, get the emotional benefits and become passionate, and in turn talk to new friends. The reputation builds with experiences that get talked about.

Paraphrasing Field of Dreams, people will come if you successfully build it; here, the word spreads due to the passion that your product creates. It is more than a task fulfilled; rather, an emotional experience has been created. People will come back for the satisfaction of the delivered emotions, wanting more.

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