One page 116 of their book, Film Theory, Elsaesser and Hagener state:

[W]e do not experience any movie only through our eyes.  We see and comprehend and feel films with our entire bodily being, informed by the full history and carnal knowledge of our accultured sensorium.

Can the same be said about design? Do we have technology we view as an extension of ourselves — that we feel are a part of us?  Sure we have people out there who go as far as taking their laptop to the bathroom with them, but do we go as far as feeling their effect on us — not just physical, cause we would all be talking about eye strain, but an emotional effect, that when we see an item, it makes us happy or if it makes us sad?  McCarthy and Wright have their paper, Empathy and Experience in HCI and state,

[T]he empathetic approach, which builds on inspiration achieved from a rich understanding of people’s experiences, dreams, expectations, and life contexts and is developed through a meaningful emotional encounter between designer and user.

Maybe a lot of what we need to look for is beyond the surface.  An online community I am part of is FindAGrave.com. For as morbid as it may sound, I have been working on putting together my family tree by linking where they are all buried.  To many people, the first time they may use this website, it may just look like a bunch of headstones, but when a person becomes part of the community, the emotional encounter between the designer of the group and I has become apparent.  Seeing these pictures and knowing these are people that helped shaped who I am today made me feel so much more than seeing a picture on the site, I felt connected to not only the people the pages memorialized, but also the people that helped put this network together — realizing there is so much more behind it than just what I see at the surface.

 

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