For past entries and an introduction to the 11 Golden Rules of Anthropomorphism and Design, click here.
Think about a spoon. Now think about a spoon with a face. What do you think it is? Most likely, you think it’s a spoon with a face. Now think about a computer, which doesn’t have a face. Are you more likely to swear at the spoon or the computer? Humans have a natural tendency to anthropomorphize things they can’t explain. In the past, mysterious phenomena such as the weather, the sun or the moon were anthropomorphized in the form of gods.
Nowadays, technological products have advanced to such a degree that most people don’t understand them. They try to explain a device by ascribing human emotions and motives to its behavior. The more complex, capable and autonomous a product is, the more likely it’s going to be anthropomorphized. Designers of technologically advanced products should anticipate how users will anthropomorphize their product, and design it accordingly.
Photo via Top Design Mag.