Physical pain in user-product interaction

Dikdur, Ezgi
The main focus of the multidisciplinary nature of design is to provide users a better life in terms of enabling the products to be safe, usable and pleasurable to use. Therefore, physical pain is always avoided. However, physical pain is involved in our daily lives, not only as an avoided concept, but also as a constructive concept. It is used for functional or hedonic purposes; whether consciously or not. The focus in this research is exploring these ‘used’ pains, and their relations to product design; in other words, how products are (or how they may be) used or manipulated to use pain instead of avoiding it. Eventually, the aim is to map the pain experience as a constructive element of experience and to come up with a statement for the usage of physical pain in product design as a beneficial tool, instead of just being a tool for pleasure as it has been used in product design till now. In order to explore the pain experience with products, a contexmapping study and a focus group study have been done. The phenomena of ‘good, transitional and bad pain’ were introduced. Following this, pain experience with products model was proposed utilizing the results of the studies and for the exploration of the implementation of the model in practicum, a generative session study to obtain initial design ideas was done.