Relational messages in product design

2012-02-15T14:00:47Z (GMT) by Kathy Pui Ying Lo
This paper introduces the concept of relational messages to examine the social and psychological aspects of product design. The concept mainly draws on communication theories and insights arising from empirical research regarding users’ emotional responses to service tangibles. It offers an alternative set of lens for product designers to examine their creative practice, and serves as a useful framework for researchers to analyze the psychological impact of design work. Examples of relational messages in service tangibles, products for shared use and gift products are discussed. The paper rounds up by highlighting implications for design and future research possibilities.