Mobile Telephones in Hungary
Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration
Industrial design is not the planning of surface, but the expression of all functions through form. (Lissák, 1998, p. 145)
The research for this chapter was executed in Hungary. As a result of changes in economic conditions and the attendant ways of living, the acquisition and possession of material things have taken on new importance. The general availability of all sought goods on the one hand, and the increased importance of their expressive power on the other, explain the strong general attentiveness and sensitivity to material objects and their quality of design and form. The product category under study, mobile telephones, has become widely available only recently, but mobile telephones are increasingly popular among a range of groups. Cell phones hold strong practical but also symbolic and communicative implications, making them a good topic through which to explore questions of industrial design. This chapter presents the exploratory part of a comprehensive study, in which the sentence completion technique is used to record spontaneous associations, reflecting deeper semantic contents and culture-specific characteristics.
The quality and nature of any consumption experience are determined not only by the type and application of the object itself, but also by the quality of its execution—the form or design. Form persuades potential consumers to make certain purchase choices, but form also contributes mightily to the quality and nature of the usage experience. Ordinary objects also serve as tools for communicating information about users to the larger social group, even while, in this case, providing a means of actual speech communication. Until now, however, product form has mainly been investigated as an element of consumer choice. Studies of product usage experience have been focused on objects that were more special in their