Exploring and implementing pleasant touch in the interface of products for design purposes : the case of a Bang & Olufsen remote control

Fennis, Tirza Johanna Maria
This thesis proposes a design strategy for pleasant touch. Literature is reviewed on the importance of pleasant touch, existing implementations in products and design for tactility. A lack of competence is found on how to design for pleasant touch in the interface of products: functional pleasant tactility. Therefore, a design vision is created by the author as a designer, on how to design functional pleasant tactility. The envisioned design strategy is then implemented through a study where a Bang & Olufsen TV remote control was used as an example case. The study includes three sequential phases: exploring, designing, and evaluating functional pleasant tactility in the given context. Exploring was done through workshops where design students were asked to touch objects with various material properties. Pleasant movements were performed with the objects, and matching functions were imagined, resulting in ‘actions’. Those actions were analyzed to discover three underlying themes of inviting, mastery and logic. In the designing phase, those themes were translated into three corresponding design concepts, and worked out into prototypes. In the evaluating phase, those prototypes were tested with that target group, and the results were used to create a final design concept. The study then concludes with a design strategy that is expected to work for the broader context of industrial design, and recommendations for further research with this strategy and different products or companies are also provided.