Emotional Design


"Computer science professor Norman also advises design firms. He brings
his background in academics and business to bear on the emotional
valence surrounding objects of daily use, be they kitchen utensils,
automobiles, or a football coach’s headset. Norman’s analysis of
people’s emotional reactions to material objects is a delightful
process, replete with surprises for readers who have rarely paused to
consider why they like or loathe their belongings. He breaks down
emotional reactions into three parts, labeled "visceral," "behavioral,"
and "reflective," asserting that "a successful design has to excel at
all levels." Norman’s examples of items ranging from bottles to hand
tools fulfill this dictum, although he feels that designers do not
often take emotion into account when formulating what an object should
look like. With household robots on the horizon, Norman implores
designers to redeem their mistakes in designing personal computers. His
readers will take away insights galore about why shoppers say, "I want

Gilbert Taylor/ALA

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