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Friday, August 20, 2010

Don Narman: Emotional Design

Emotional design is more important in today’s world as ever before. People don’t just buy a product because its function. Consumers now look for an experience with a product how it makes them feel while using it and what emotions are portrayed. Don Norman explains the use of emotional design through certain designs of today. The Philippe Starck’s juicer that is show is a great example of this emotional design. The juicer purpose is not to be used as a juicer which is indicated by a piece of paper when you have bought the product. The juicer is used more to spark emotion because of its shape and aesthetic qualities.

Don shows us the new global cutting knife produced in Japan. He explains that it has its function but also certain other qualities that make it an emotional design. The shape of the knife gives it nice aesthetic s, the knife is balances feeling comfortable in the hand making it a pleasure to use and finally its sharp cutting well making it a pleasurable to use. Don goes on to explain that the knife can also be reflective because how it is used and from this we have a theory of emotional design and how and why we use certain products.

The use of emotional design is used also because it creates a fun atmosphere in the use while using a product or while solving a problem. Don gives us the example of Alice Isen the psychologist whose experiment gives a vivid example that with a little fun people improve their thinking towards a task. This is implied to emotional design because when a consumer is using or viewing a product it creates a positive feeling and conversation can be sparked or the activity being performed if more enjoyable.

Don goes on the break down the process of design into three stages- 1. Visceral 2. Behavioral 3. Reflective. The visceral part of design is all about the attraction to certain elements of a design such as colour and shape. Behavioral design is the feeling of in control of a product and its usability and understanding of a design. The reflective part of design is the state of consciousness that is involved with design whether a consumer feels good or bad while using a product.
Emotional design shows us why people create connections to some product and not to others because of certain elements to a design and why people choose certain products over others.

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