Momentary pleasure or lasting meaning? Distinguishing eudaimonic and hedonic user experiences

Elisa D. Mekler, Kasper Hornbæk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


User experience (UX) research has expanded our notion of what makes interactive technology good, often putting hedonic aspects of use such as fun, affect, and stimulation at the center. Outside of UX, the hedonic is often contrasted to the eudaimonic, the notion of striving towards one's personal best. It remains unclear, however, what this distinction offers to UX research conceptually and empirically. We investigate a possible role for eudaimonia in UX research by empirically examining 266 reports of positive experiences with technology and analyzing its relation to established UX concepts. Compared to hedonic experiences, eudaimonic experiences were about striving towards and accomplishing personal goals through technology use. They were also characterized by increased need fulfillment, positive affect, meaning, and long-term importance. Taken together, our findings suggest that while hedonic UX is about momentary pleasures directly derived from technology use, eudaimonic UX is about meaning from need fulfilment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2016 – Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - San Jose, United States
Duration: 7 May 201612 May 2016
Conference number: 34


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose
Internet address


  • Eudaimonia
  • Hedonic
  • Meaning
  • User experience

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