HTC research: good design makes happy consumers

Feb 24, 2014

The folks at HTC have done a scientific study which they suggest leads them to believe that good design makes us happy. In a scientific study of the physical (biometric) responses of 2,177 participants "from seven markets", HTC has come to the conclusion that if a product is well-made and beautiful, it’ll make people happy.

The test HTC ran monitored the sweat found on participants’ skin, heart rate, and more biometric bits and pieces. Users were put through a number of online creativity tests which asked them to look at and interact with objects that HTC suggests were "beautiful", "functional", or "beautiful and functional". These objects were commonly found in and around the home and workplace.

HTC’s test showed the following results based on participant responses:

• Well-designed objects that are both beautiful and functional trigger positive emotions like calmness and contentment, reducing negative feelings like anger and annoyance by almost a third (29%)

• Purely functional objects that are not beautiful increased negative emotions like gloominess and depression by 23%

• Poor functionality hinders creativity, making it 45% more difficult to be creative

• Positive moods make us more outgoing and open to new ideas – which in turn make us more creative

• There were no major differences amongst the seven countries taking part in the study

HTC suggested that these test results led to them designing their current products. They’re continuing to create products they suggest are both beautiful and functional at once - suggesting as they do so that the HTC One continues to be one of these devices that claim both features.

"At HTC, we’ve always known instinctively that good design is important. It’s not just about creating a gorgeous phone that looks and feels great – it is about understanding the impact that well designed everyday objects have on people’s emotions and behaviour. So we put it to the test.

And what that test revealed was an interesting fact: good design makes you happy. So when we craft an everyday object like the HTC One, that goes on to receive critical acclaim, we know that we have done something right, that we have designed a phone that consumers really want." - Claude Zellweger, principal designer at HTC

The tests in question were done on participants from seven countries, including Australia, China, Germany, Russia, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This set of tests was devised by both psychologists and neuroscientists at MindLab and Innovationbubble, and we’ll more than likely hear a lot more from HTC in presentations of studies along these lines again in the future - sooner than later!

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