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The enriching limitations of the physical world

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Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the third stand, our perspective on embodied interaction with digital products and systems. First, we discuss its background of dematerialization, an ongoing evolution in which physical products and information carriers disappear, and become immaterial information packages and on-screen applications. We establish how dematerialization influences both design research and design practice. Next, we present a digital payment terminal that we designed in order to explore the added value of our third stand perspective. In an experiment, we compare it with an existing payment terminal. The results of the experiment reveal that the third stand terminal scores higher on hedonic values, like beauty and stimulation. The existing terminal scores higher on pragmatic values, like ease-of-use and efficiency. We position the third stand as a design approach that pleas for embodiment from a hedonic perspective and propose to extend the argument for embodiment beyond pragmatic values. Finally, we suggest that the third stand celebrates the limitations of the physical world instead of trying to overcome them, and gives rise to specific emotional values like attentiveness, profundity, and preciousness.

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Correspondence to Lukas Van Campenhout.

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Van Campenhout, L., Frens, J., Hummels, C. et al. The enriching limitations of the physical world. Pers Ubiquit Comput 23, 81–98 (2019) doi:10.1007/s00779-018-1176-8

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Keywords

  • Dematerialization
  • Industrial design
  • Embodied interaction
  • User experience