11 Designing for pleasure
11.1 The four pleasures
In consumerist societies, buying, using and displaying products has come to represent a certain type of pleasure. This pleasure principle has to be acknowledged in new product development and design. The designer Kenneth Grange has said that a guiding design principle for him is that a product should be ‘a pleasure to use’.
The pleasures of using a product are derived from the perceived benefits it offers to the user. Can we be more explicit in planning product benefits that are pleasurable? What is pleasure in this sense anyway? The following extract from Patrick Jordan's book Designing Pleasurable Products outlines four types of pleasure.
A useful way of classifying different types of pleasure has been espoused by Canadian anthropologist Lionel Tiger. Tiger has made an extensive study of pleasure and has developed a framework for addressing pleasure issues, which he outlines in some depth in the book The Pursuit of Pleasure. The framework models four conceptually distinct types of pleasure – physical, social, psychological and ideological. Summaries of Tiger's descriptions of each are given below. Examples are added to demonstrate how each of these components might be relevant in the context of products.