#11: Don’t Use Anthropomorphism if it Does Not Serve Any Purpose

February 13th 2012

Part 11 of the series 11 Golden Rules of Anthropomorphism and Design

Anthropomorphism can be a powerful tool in product design. But there are also risks involved that urge designers to be careful in their implementation. This final Golden Rule is also a warning: Don’t use anthropomorphism simply to ‘dress up’ a product; it will make it distracting and confusing, and although it may increase the initial appeal of the product, people will soon lose interest for it, as the promise of human likeness is empty.

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Posted 21/02/2012 – 03:29

Why can't the use of anthropormorphism be used in design to create a sense of playfulness and help us connect to objects? As a kid, I attributed human qualities to inanimate objects...(that's what dolls are.) And that type of play, allowed me to explore and imagine various roles and personalities. It also helped me learn to empathize with others. is anthropomorphism really so bad? Maybe we need that sense of play and fun to inspire us and remind us of those values.

ELMANCO / Stefano Ricci
Posted 14/02/2012 – 16:44

I'm totally agree!

Should men be able to give birth to children?

Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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