The Architecture Of Happiness
Philosopher Alain de Botton has just produced a book of this name in which he argues that our physical surroundings are crucial contributors to our happiness or sadness, shaping our moods, anxieties and how we feel about ourselves. The TV series has the dumbed-down title The Perfect Home.
No argument there. I think we all see the gap between good and bad architecture and are increasingly aware that visual and sensory factors are far from superficial. Now if we could just take that lesson and apply it to our products/services, are we not likely to engender a happier reaction from our audience? A reaction intrinsic to the experience of our product/service rather than one fabricated by marketing efforts.
Postscript: Kathy Sierra has coined the phrase cognitive seduction with just that in mind and has produced an excelent and extensive list of the various drivers of user experience.