Designing for multisensorial interactive product experiences


17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, E and PDE 2015, Loughborough, United Kingdom, 3 - 04 September 2015, pp.406-411 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Loughborough
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Page Numbers: pp.406-411
  • Keywords: Aesthetics, Interaction, Senses, UX
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2015, The Design Society. All rights reserved.This paper presents a methodology and case study of designing for multi sensorial interactive product experiences, within the context of postgraduate degree level Industrial Design education. Building on literature spanning product and interaction semantics, and multimodal product experiences, the paper establishes a stepped approach to integrate up to six different sensory modalities (sight, touch, presence, sound, smell, taste) into a user-product interaction scenario. A product design project (bedside alarm clock) is then introduced, for which nine postgraduate students were guided to design to a certain characterful interaction (e.g. charming, helpful, amusing etc.) using multiple sensory modalities. Each of the nine resulting product designs are scrutinised for the sensory modalities that are activated, making use of a storytelling (product usage scenario) analysis. The specific sensory attributes that were harnessed are compared across the product designs and the frequency of their implementation is charted. Conclusions are reached on (i) strategies that designers employ to reach intended multi sensorial UX for their products, and (ii) the effectiveness of the educational methodology adopted for encouraging student designers to think beyond the dominant visual domain of design.