It’s not the tactile details, it’s the story – the meaning

One shouldn’t underestimate the amount of story that goes into an object and the role of this story contra the products specifications in the decision making process

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. Donald Norman references the first in his book on Emotional Design which I excellently quote:

    “Special objects turned out to be those with special memories or associations, those that helped evoke a special feeling in their owners. Special items all evoked stories. Seldom was the focus upon the item itself. What mattered was the story, an occasion recalled.”

    Donald Norman, Emotional Design

This reminds me of research we came across when working on a pitch for a travel agent. We found that people seldom remember the specific experiences of a vacation they had been on – but remember the story, the meaning: “It was when he proposed”, “It was to celebrate my promotion” etc..