In my readings about aesthetics (thanx everyone for the great suggestions),
I noticed a concentration on "beauty". Now I know from the formal side of
the aesthetics community aesthetics is almost the philosophy of beauty. A
noble academic goal indeed. But this line of reasoning feels a bit too
academic and hard to make tangible into my day to day.
I wonder if "beauty" is not really the right noun to be thinking about and I
wonder what word would best replace it with something as all encompassing,
but less intangible. I mean beauty is right up there with love in being
indefinable, yet ultimately well understood.
I think if we take Peter Morville's honeycomb as a starting point, and then
try to define the "hive" itself, it might be a good starting point. I'm
definitely interested in what other people think.
I do like the way Roweena Reed (founder of Industrial Design Program @ the
Pratt Institute) spoke about "beauty", as the perfect combination of form
meeting function. I don't have the quote handy now, but when I read it, it
was like beauty was an "ah-ha" quality.
I have had that with very few products. The iPod was definitely one (if not
completely cliché at this point). I know I haven't had it with much software
It's almost like saying the response of beauty in product design is ...
"I get it, and I want to make it part of my life."
The question I have is, do the variables of the different qualities that
make up "experience" need to change, not just by individual, but that
individual within specific contexts or settings of expectation?