The increasing importance on experiences within mobile interaction design has put the selection of colours, materials and form to the fore. However, the discussion of such aspects in design research has not yet accounted for how users themselves, and industry, pay attention to those aspects e.g. as forms of fashion and in relation to peoples’ complete outfits. Thus, we argue that fashion logics is part of users´ context in which they select colour and material. A neglect of understanding, and relating to, fashion dynamics might lead both to missed opportunities, as well as a decrease in the take up of new applications. We suggest that teasing out the difference between consumption of mobile experiences as some sort of de facto products and symbolic fashion oriented experiences is of critical importance for the design oriented research in the mobile area.
We are inspired by the fashion theory that fashion exists in a social system which creates desire, influence our taste and legitimize the products through its mechanisms. We see mobile design as a social practice in a wide social context.
We look at the theoretical discussion of aesthetics in HCI field, questioning the pragmatist approach derived from John Dewey’s philosophy through studying representation of mobile phones in online fashion media. Fashion practices, as a typical aesthetic practice, diverge from this theory, since here aesthetics can be visual, ambiguous and incomplete although it still provides a lot of meanings for people. This demonstrates that it is more fruitful to put empirical studies at the forefront instead of a theoretically oriented aesthetic approach.
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