Emotional Design

Emotions have a crucial role in our ability to understand the world. Studies have shown that an object that “pleases” us appears to be more effective. This is due to the affinity we feel for an object that appeals to us – an emotional connection.

In his book Emotional Design, Dr. Donald Norman proposes a framework for analyzing products in a holistic way to include their attractiveness, their behavior, and the image they present. These aspects of a product are identified with different levels of “processing” by people that translate into three different kinds of design:

Visceral design – refers primarily to that initial impact, to its appearance

Behavioral design – is about look and feel – the total experience of using a product

Reflection – is about afterthought, how it makes us feel, the image it portrays, the message it tells us about the owner’s taste.

A good design should address all three levels. An attractive design is not necessarily the most efficient. It is beauty that is important for our lives – beauty in our environment, in our surroundings, in our actions, and in the products we buy and use. Beauty and brains, pleasure and usability — they go hand in hand. That’s the message of “Emotional Design.”

For more information about emotional design, visit Donald Normans’ website