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Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  2,946 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac? New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating book, which has garnered acclaim everywhere from Scientific American to The N ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 11th 2005 by Basic Books (first published 2003)
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Erika RS
Jan 23, 2013 Erika RS rated it liked it
This book was interesting but disappointing.

The first half was a fascinating addendum to The Design of Everyday Things. This part of the book talked about the role of emotions in design and usability. Things that are more pleasurable to use are easier to use than something with the same basic design that is not a pleasure to use. The psychological basis for this claim is that when people are enjoying what they are using, they can take a more creative view at any problems they encounter during t
Sarah Alirezaee
Jul 11, 2015 Sarah Alirezaee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
خب، این هم تموم شد بالاخره،بسیااار کتاب خوبی بود برای کسایی که خیلی جدی دارن توی زمینهی اینترکشن دیزاین و یوزر اینترفیس حتی کار میکنن.

I'm aaaall done with Industrial Design! :D
Gaurab Dutta
Oct 18, 2016 Gaurab Dutta rated it really liked it
this book will definitely allow some fresh insights to how we see things and make certain choices. A good way to evoke the designer in you!
Michael Scott
Jan 05, 2009 Michael Scott rated it really liked it
(I chose to write this review only after reading both Emotional Design and The Design of Everyday Things. The wait was worthwhile.)

Emotional Design focuses on the aesthetics of things, that is, on what makes an object desirable (for a human). Just like the influential late-1980s book by Norman, The Design of Everyday Things, this book marks a belief shift, from performance and usability, to catering to human impulse and cognitive responses. In other words, Norman argues that we are no longer in
Apr 17, 2009 sleeps9hours rated it it was ok
This is the first book I’ve read on design. I like the focus on the importance of emotions. The first four chapters were interesting to me, then I hit a dead zone and skimmed chapters 5-7, but I enjoyed the epilogue. I’m sure I will look at products in a new way after this.

Also, I like to find arguments against our crappy school system and ways to improve it, so this caught my eye:

p. 205 Robot tutors have great potential for changing the way we teach. Today’s model is far too often that of a ped
Alex Pricop
Sep 15, 2016 Alex Pricop rated it liked it
I liked the general idea of the book and Norman has a great way of separating the way design is experienced. I felt like he was dragging too long and it seemed like the same ideas were being hammered down through too many examples and the book could have benefited from further editing and a reduced length.
Mar 11, 2010 Danien rated it really liked it
This book expands on Norman's The Design of Everyday Things by exploring how people interact with things when human emotions are taken into account. While the previous book focused on usability based on physical human limitations and logical design, this book delves into how design can affect both the act of the interaction and the quality of the emotional bond with objects (and computer software) through that interaction.

This is not a How-To design book with step-by-step instructions; it explor
Stephanie W
Nov 13, 2011 Stephanie W rated it liked it
I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this is a book you can aptly judge. The cover depicts a juicer that is mechanical and feminine at the same time. It has sharp edges beautifully paired with delicate, sensual curves. It is supposedly not meant for juicing actual fruit, but it is certainly a conversation starter.

This book was full of great anecdotes about the random stuff we have that we are attached to for no apparent reason. I have a hand mixer in my house that used to
Jun 08, 2007 Shaina rated it did not like it
I just weeded this book out of my bookshelves, after four years and moving it across the country and into (and out of) four separate apartments. I took it off the shelf, removed the bookmark that had been optimistically marking a quarter of the way through the book, and I put the book in my stack of books to be given away.

I give up. I will never finish this book. The writing style is impenetrable and boring, which means that even though the premise of the book is fascinating--how form affects wh
Sep 14, 2014 Ali rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
برای استفاده از ایده های این کتاب تنها کافیست نوشته های پشت جلدش را بخوانید و تمام . دیگر خودتان را با نوشته ها و داستان های کتاب به زحمت نیاندازید
راستی ترجمه بسیار خوب و روان است اما ایده های کتاب چنگی به دل نمی زند
Guilherme Gontijo
Dec 19, 2015 Guilherme Gontijo rated it liked it
50% good, 50% bad. The second half is all about AI emotional design. Interesting, but not very useful for graphic design.
Nov 03, 2013 Mangoo rated it liked it
We are surrounded by things, and the way we relate to them is as important as the way they impact us. Design is the art, science and technology that address the shape, role, functionality and appeal of things (mostly artificial). The author developed a set of ideas about design throughout is winded career in and out of academia, and this book captures a part of those while hinting at how he reached them and how possibly he is still making up his mind about them. Indeed the author shows even in t ...more
Jesse Bowline
Mar 05, 2008 Jesse Bowline rated it liked it
On its face, Emotional Design seems like it would be the perfect thing for me, a book about why design matters. Which it does. Obviously.

However, in actually reading it, I encountered some problems, partially on me and partially on Donald A. Norman.

For my part, I prefer books that tell stories. For this reason, I find many non-fiction books to be a bit dry for my taste. I fully accept that it's a matter of my personal opinion and not a reflection on the work itself when I read a book that doesn'
Nick Gotch
Dec 19, 2008 Nick Gotch rated it liked it
The first (and larger) part of Emotional Design is classic Norman: thorough analysis, dissection, and reflection on why and how the design of different things affects us. This part gets into some fascinating ideas that can definitely help any kind of designer make a better product. There's no shortage of theories put forth (with good backing) for why and how we connect with things.

Norman breaks down our emotional reaction and connection to different things into three groups: visceral, behavioral
Jan 21, 2008 Andrea rated it it was ok
In the epilogue of this book, Don Norman expresses his gratitude to a myriad of people who helped him organize many years worth of disparate notes into a cohesive book. For me, ‘Emotional Design’ remained rather disconnected. Not in an altogether bad way, the book reads like the (slightly rambling) classroom lecture from a venerable guru …with the reader left to pull it all together.

Norman offers an illuminating model - distinguishing between 3 layers of design: visceral, behavioral and reflecti
Victoria Lee
May 12, 2016 Victoria Lee rated it really liked it
I initially picked this book up for an art history class. I've never read a nonfiction book for fun, but the concept behind the novel was super interesting! The main idea is to show how emotions play a huge role in our everyday lives, even more than the logical and practical aspect of our brain.
Marketing tactics were discussed, explaining why the refrigerated section is in the back of supermarkets, the reasoning behind using certain materials for products, and the meaning behind the automobile'
Dec 01, 2008 Mitchell rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: educators, technologists, designers, teachers
Emotional Design Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanThis book was an amazing discussion of the psychology behind the stuff we love. I particularly enjoyed how much it spoke to our social networking tools. Our desire to connect with tech is discussed. The chapter on the future of robots also spoke quite a bit to educational design. the author, was a Cognitive and Computer Scientist who studied how well things work. During this his time studying this he noted the frustration and devotion people developed with certain products.

My most valuable les
Khalid Sulami
Feb 02, 2016 Khalid Sulami rated it it was amazing
• The items people buy have meaning beyond just owning a material object.
• Nice-looking products work better.
• Three aspects of product design – appearance, performance, and the ideas or
memories the item evokes – infl uence consumer's emotional reactions.
• Conscious and subconscious emotions affect people's logic and purchasing
decisions by helping them judge whether a product is good or bad.
• People who feel content and happy in a given situation are likely to think more
creatively and
Areeg Samy
Jul 27, 2013 Areeg Samy rated it really liked it
Emotional Design is a must read for all designers and for industrial designers in specific. It covers the all the psychological, emotional and mental aspects related to any design on the 3 emotional levels; visceral, behavioral and reflective. It points out how form and function could help introduce the product to the user and how trust and emotional attachtment to some products are built. In the last 3 chapters, the book takes a futuristic drift and discusses machines, their relation to humans ...more
Tom Carroll
Feb 16, 2015 Tom Carroll rated it it was amazing
When we design or develop user interfaces, we focus primarily on making sure that users are able to quickly and easily complete required tasks. This is an important and necessary requirement for creating useful products. However, we must not forget that a product's success also depends on users' emotional reactions.

Don Norman expands on the principles from The Design of Everyday Things to stress the importance of designing products that users react positively to. He describes a model of mind in
Nov 07, 2007 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ted
I was happy with this book, but think I like the Design of Everyday Things better overall.

Was a bit bored by the last chapter on the future of robots.
Have the sneaking feeling that I'll "get" this book a lot better in a few years' extra maturity.

Notes for future Eric:

Some nice ideas though, the soundbite "our emotions make us smart" will probably stick with me for some time. Now noting the visceral, behavioural and reflective split for future reference. Definitely liked the point that emotions a
Amber Case
Did you ever wonder why cheap wine tastes better in fancy glasses? Why sales of Macintosh computers soared when Apple introduced the colorful iMac? New research on emotion and cognition has shown that attractive things really do work better, as Donald Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating book, which has garnered acclaim everywhere from Scientific American to The New Yorker.Emotional Design articulates the profound influence of the feelings that objects evoke, from our willingness to spe ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Tsuki rated it liked it
In terms of more modern writings on design, Norman can be a bit difficult to get through. Not necessarily because the subject matter is difficult, but more that his writing style can be a bit dry. I absolutely loved this book, as well as his others, but it is one of those reads where I have to know what a person likes to recommend it. If you enjoy reading things written in a more "educational" way over a more "narrative" way, than I would definitely recommend this.

The subject matter is great an
Jan 18, 2014 Spencer rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, design
Donald Norman has some interesting thoughts on the emotional component of design and how it intersects with psychology. Unfortunately, the book veers off into a musing about the future, including two whole chapters dedicated to speculating about robots.

Norman also has a tendency to repeat himself and reuse quotes, which makes the book tedious to read. Additionally, his frequent gripes about the design of personal computers and electronics haven't aged well and seem anachronistic in the age of iP
May 13, 2015 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book was okay, but not nearly good as the author's classic The Design of Everyday Things. It included some interesting examples of emotion-inducing product designs, like the citrus juicer on the cover that was created purely for visual impact and not for practical use because its gold plating might wear off when exposed to citric acid.

But apparently emotional design is a narrow subject, because once the author finished beating to death the three levels of emotional response — visceral, beha
Graham Herrli
Aug 29, 2015 Graham Herrli rated it it was ok
Shelves: design-related
This book would make a reasonably interesting essay, but it doesn't really have enough content for a book. Essentially, what it says is that in addition to designing for usability, people should design for affect and emotion, engaging people at the visceral (reptilian, sensation-based), behavioral (mammalian, use-based), and reflective (human, intellect-based) levels.

It says all that in the prologue, but then doesn't really expand much in the rest of the book. For all I know, such hackneyed exam
Jul 29, 2011 Camille rated it liked it
There are a few grains of somewhat valuable or intriguing insights in this book, but you'll have to sift through Donald Norman's extremely repetitive writing and jargon first. This book could probably be half its size. Norman uses several examples of products that illustrate his points well, but insists on spending several pages reiterating his theories for EACH AND EVERY example. The book's poorly organized chapters offer no distinct theses at their opening and wander off in all directions to v ...more
Aug 11, 2008 Hoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux
This book is for the most part, a very good distillation of what is good and bad about product design of all kinds. It's subtly humorous and very detailed in its dissection of what makes up a user experience. It ties in very well actually with Alan Cooper's book on software design and vice versa. It's well thought out and adequately concise for the range of topics it covers.

The only problem I really had with this book, was Norman's obsession with robots. The robot section gets a little agonizing
Tyrannosaurus regina
Although I enjoyed it (probably more than I expected to), and although I can see how all parts of the book relate to one another, I still came away from this book feeling like it was actually two books smushed together, one about the way human beings form attachments to objects, and one about the evolution of emotion in robots--the objects forming attachments in return. And despite being only a few years old (2005), it still felt quite dated when talking about technology (particularly things lik ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Arnaud rated it really liked it
Shelves: user-interaction
Another masterpiece from Donald Norman. Dr. Norman focuses this time on the aesthetics of objects and the impact it has on their usability. The postulate is simple: if you want people to use objects you design for them, you better make them look nice.
Humans are emotional animals, our emotions and senses guide our lives. The first emotions we get from objects are visuals and should encourage us to use them. If you pass the “visceral” test, there are chances that people start using the object you
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تفکر طراحی 1 3 Jul 06, 2014 11:37PM  
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Donald Arthur Norman is a professor emeritus of cognitive science at the University of California, San Diego and a Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, where he also co-directs the dual degree MBA + Engineering degree program between the Kellogg school and Northwestern Engineering. Norman is on numerous company advisory boards, including the editorial board of Encyclopædia Bri ...more
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“Learning should take place when it is needed, when the learner is interested, not according to some arbitrary, fixed schedule” 24 likes
“Will robot teachers replace human teachers? No, but they can complement them. Moreover, the could be sufficient in situations where there is no alternative––to enable learning while traveling, or while in remote locations, or when one wishes to study a topic for which there is not easy access to teachers. Robot teachers will help make lifelong learning a practicality. They can make it possible to learn no matter where one is in the world, no matter the time of day. Learning should take place when it is needed, when the learner is interested, not according to some arbitrary, fixed schedule” 6 likes
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