In this introductory text, an overview has been given of a new approach to human factors. This approach is about fitting products to people in a holistic manner. It is based on a recognition that the quality of the relationship between people and products depends on more than simply product usability. People are more than just 'users'. They have hopes, fears, dreams, aspirations, tastes and personality. Their choice of products and the pleasure or displeasure that products bring to them may be influenced by these factors.
The first chapter started with a review of the recent history of human factors, charting the rise of usability as a hot commercial issue. It was argued that usability has subsequently become something that customers take for granted and has, in marketing terms, changed from being a 'satisfier' to a 'dissatisfier'. This suggests that, if human-factors approaches are to add value to the design process, they must move beyond usability to address the aspects that make products a positive joy to experience. Indeed, it was argued that usability-based approaches to design are-in effect, if not in intention-dehumanising. This is because such approaches tend to encourage a view of people as simply cognitive and physical processors in a user-product-task system. Pleasure-based approaches, on the other hand, encourage a holistic view of users, striving to gain a rich understanding of human diversity.
In the second chapter, a framework-the four pleasures-was outlined. This provides a structured way of approaching the issue of pleasure with products. The framework was illustrated with a series of examples, showing how different types of product can provide people with different types of pleasure. It was argued that, whilst some of these products were pleasurable through coincidences of product history or context, the pleasure associated with many products could be linked to aspects of the products' design. In the third chapter, a structured approach to creating pleasurable products was outlined. There were four main stages to this approach. They were as follows: understanding the people for whom the product is to be designed; understanding the practical, emotional and hedonic benefits that these