From this module, I learned that a product is not just about performing the functions that the consumers want. It could be used to satisfy the 4 different pleasures – physio pleasure, socio pleasure, psycho pleasure and ideo-pleasure. At the same time, a product serve certain benefits better than others. An example would be a Vertu mobile phone serves the reflective better than a LG mobile phone.

I used to think that the product designing process is simply identifying the needs of the consumers, coming up with the product and asked for the users’ feedback on to formulate the product’s plan. This implies that the consumers are only involved in the initial stage of need identification and the final stage for marketing purposes. After this module, I realized the importance of getting the consumers involved from the start to the end of the product development stage where consumers are continuously asked for their inputs.

Having gone through the final project, all I can say the process that one has to go through to come up with a product or service which would provide the users with a pleasant and satisfying experience is VERY PAINFUL. I think it is going to get harder as consumers become more demanding and expect the product/service to be functional, easy to use and easy on the eye. Even stuff like packaging decisions has gone through extensive consumer research as it has an impact on the user experience. In fact, user experience starts from the moment the consumer enters the store to look at the product.

Gone are the days where consumers would just blindly buy and use any product that is produced by manufacturers without any complaints. Nowadays if the product fails to meet some of the consumers’ expectations, the product just won’t sell. It is important for companies/manufacturers to reflect this change in consumers’ expectations in their business model such that it thinks of the consumers’ needs at every stage of the product designing process and aims to enhance the user experience. The first step to enhancing the user experience is to know your consumers better.

Being a consumer, I often take for granted the effort and thought put into creating the products and services we consumed in our daily life. Things such as needs analysis and usability testing always go unnoticed by the blessed consumers. In conclusion, this module has allowed me to gain a better appreciation towards well-designed products. At the same time, it made me intolerant towards badly designed products.

To end off this entry, here’s a YouTube video on The Science and Art of User Experience at Google