Temporal, affective, and embodied characteristics of taste experiences: A framework for design

Marianna Obrist, R Comber, Sriram Subramanian, B Piqueras-Fiszman, C Velasco, C Spence
in Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings, Conference paper (text)


We present rich descriptions of taste experience through an analysis of the diachronic and synchronic experiences of each of the five basic taste qualities: Sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and umami. Our findings, based on a combination of user experience evaluation techniques highlight three main themes: Temporality, affective reactions, and embodiment. We present the taste characteristics as a framework for design and discuss each taste in order to elucidate the design qualities of individual taste experiences. These findings add a semantic understanding of taste experiences, their temporality enhanced through descriptions of the affective reactions and embodiment that the five basic tastes elicit. These findings are discussed on the basis of established psychological and behavioral phenomena, highlighting the potential for taste-enhanced design.