Some Desirable Objects

Nest thermostat (unexciting choice, but true)

nest

A perfect exercise in desirability today. Take a fundamentally mundane object that is most of the time a practical but cumbersome accessory, and turn it into an object of affection that is an integral part of one’s everyday life. Even the name, nest, alludes to affective and home-building emotion. 

Greatly streamlined UX from purchase to usage. UX is basically what people pay for in this case. The functions are replicable with other products, but this one allows people to save their cognitive resources to other tasks. No planning ahead or thinking necessary; no thinking necessary at all. It’s stylish, modern, easy to use and above all smart. Draws on currents trends in computing: empowering people with data, visualization, ubiquitous and adaptable. It has a green aspect to it, and it can actually save one’s money though the initial investment is pricier. It integrates with virtually any lifestyle, and fits our image of integrated mobile world. The embodiment of ‘internet of things’ that manages to be sexy rather than scary. PS: Disclaimer I don’t know it Nest actually works, and have no personal experience with it. I also personally do not necessarily desire one for I like to have control over my electronics. 

credit card

credit card


As a proliferated platform it is hard to beat. However, I have troubles to see to what extent it is an incredibly designed product, and to what extent it is a product just well fitting into the stream of consumer capitalistic society. Is it one of the eggs, or one of the chickens?

Nonetheless, credit card appeals to one’s sense of financial independence that comes with the ability to borrow money at will (especially at younger age), is wonderfully convenient, in some ways more secure than cash, makes spending money feel less severe, and maps well onto the world where money are strings of numbers with artificial value anyway. Many of these characteristics are also true of now popular debit cards. However, the original concept of credit card was much more akin to one’s sense of social financial status, as well as a strange sense of mutual trustworthiness stemming from the ubiquitous omnipresent multilateral debt. 

Sleepy Time Boyfriend App (Touma, Kakeru, Sosuke, Reo…)
sleepy boyfriend app
“New Release for female audience! Popular in Japan!”
It is an app that plays to the user sweet words like “I will always be by your side.” Only available in Japanese. English subtitles. There are many voices available, and they all utter different sentences and have a whole personality build, if crudely. 
The desirability design here consist rather of exceptionally well identifying the needs of a specific target audience. When I first bumped into one of these apps, I thought it was a joke. Then I found how many million and gazillion copies of the app have been sold all over the world. It is the variability and the sense of real people behind the voices that sells the illusion in such a powerful way. The actual UI is extremely simple, and maybe even non-elegant or clunky, but  the UX is at the same time very streamlined. There’s basically a ‘push the button’ mode and an ‘auto-pilot’ mode. No cognitive input required. Illusion off comfortable, loving and soothing environment without all the mess and work of actual emotions and relationships. Fits the on the move with no time for commitment. Consumption all the way, and the shop with additional product is just another click away. 
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