Taking Good Care

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Taking good care: Investigating consumer attitudes to product maintenance.

Building on the work undertaken in the ‘Caring Project’ (Gwilt, Leaver, Fisher, Young. 2015), this secondary inquiry seeks to ascertain specific aspects of maintenance practices that are employed by users and to understand the drivers behind some of the key decisions taken when maintaining products. Through an empirical study that involved gathering data using methods including a survey, observations and cultural probes, the findings reveal some of the motivations behind the choices of those who self-maintain and those who choose to have that work carried out by a service provider. Moreover some insight into the prompts that trigger why users instigate product maintenance, and the equipment selected and used in the maintenance of common objects are also discussed. These initial insights support the potential for a larger study with the ultimate aim of influencing designers and manufacturers in the development of longer lasting products.

This work will be presented at the PLATE (Product Lifetimes and the Environment) conference, Delft, NL in November 2017.