In the previous chapter it was argued that human factors should move beyond usability-based approaches to design. It was suggested that such approaches are limited, even dehumanising, as they tend to focus merely on the fit of a product to a person's cognitive and physical characteristics. Pleasure-based approaches, on the other hand, encourage a holistic view of the user, judging the quality of a design on the basis of the wider relationship between a product and the people for whom it is designed.
In this chapter the various aspects of people-product relationships are explored. A framework is given-known as the 'four pleasures'-within which to consider the different types of pleasure that people may seek and that products may bring. The application of this framework to understanding people is illustrated with an example that demonstrates the difference between pleasure-based and usability-based approaches to defining the characteristics of people. The framework is then used as a means of structuring a set of examples, demonstrating a variety of ways in which products can give pleasure to those who experience them.
Since the beginning of time humans have sought pleasure. We have gained pleasure from the natural environment: from the beauty of flowers or the feeling of the sun on our skin; from bathing in soothing waters or the refreshment of a cool breeze. We have actively sought pleasure, creating activities and pastimes to stretch our mental and physical capabilities or to express our creative capabilities. Cave dwellers wrestled to test their strength and expressed themselves through painting on the walls of their dwellings. Today we 'pump iron' in the gymnasium and decorate our homes with selections of paintings and posters.
Another source of pleasure has been the artefacts with which we have surrounded ourselves. For centuries humans have sought to create functional and decorative artefacts-artefacts that have increased the quality of life and brought pleasure to the owners and users. Originally, these objects