Research Output

The case for building familiarity into wearables design.

  This paper examines the issues connected with the development of wearable devices in terms of affective design, that is, as pleasurable products. Wearables, particularly in the context of everyday use, have the ability to become good examples of what Steve Mann termed ‘existential computers’. This phenomenological state will only come about, however, if the product/user fit is good for all aspects of the design. Here we examine the design aspect of familiarity and how choice of materials can affect the approachability of the wearable, and the subsequent relationship between it and the wearer. Finally a combined design through making and participative methodology is suggested for taking the work further.

  • Date:

    30 September 2003

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    004 Data processing & computer science


Kettley, S. & Smyth, M. (2003). The case for building familiarity into wearables design.



wearables; design; existential computers; familiarity;

Available Documents