Design as Experience Placebo

Randy Dotinga’s Wired.com article, Why Sugar Pills Cure Some Ills, made me wonder if design could be used as an experience placebo?

That is, could a person’s perception that a product, service, object or system has been “designed” have a positive affect on the person’s experience with the product, service, object or system?

This also brings up the question of whether or not design processes will become part of a product’s marketing collateral? Will certain design methodologies or even user-centered (or any other philosophical approaches to) design ever become mainstream enough to be advertised?

Personal shout-out: David Spiegel, who is quoted in the article, runs the Stanford Emotional Coding Lab, at which I volunteer occasionally.