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Enriching Gifts

Experience Design to Understand Human Relationships

Author: Houjiang Liu

Keywords: Experience Design, Design Game, Gifts, Emotional Data

The purpose of the Enriching Gifts project is to analyze gift culture and understand its pluralistic individual values and symbolic social meanings. The designer uses participatory design to analyze the gift to understand its pluralistic individual values and meanings.

First, a gift-giving card game was designed to have players talk about their gift experience and reveal differences and issues in gift reciprocity. Secondly, a card sorting research was implemented to analyze how gifts, such as purchased gifts, self-made gifts, and experience gifts, are differently suited for various gift scenarios.

In conclusion, gifts are not only objects but an experience, enriched by human emotions. In order to enhance human relationships through gifts, there are patterns to identify potential objects as gifts and ways to enrich objects into gifts experience artificially.

Gift-Giving Card Game
Players put their emotional responses on gifts samples by votes

Players sort the gift based on how they feel about them: fast or slow? Authentic or personal. Afterwards, they also choose gifts and match them to the gift-giving scenarios. After the sorting and matching process, data is clustered on different types of gifts, whether they are commodities, self-made objects, or celebratory events. By categorizing how people feel about those gifts, I use clustered bubble to visualize the sorting data. We can explore how people view this relationship through gifts. By categorizing what gifts people choose in different gift-giving scenarios, I place them in a sequence of an ongoing relationship. Therefore, we can also explore the pace of gift-giving in a changing relationship.

All in all, the card game creates a fun environment for players, allowing them to understand how people interpret the meaning of gifts differently. In the game, there are two factors that influence players’ decision-making on choosing the gift: first is the gift itself, second is the gift-giving scenarios. The visualization helps us to further understand how these two differently influence people’s decisions.

To learn more about this project, click here.