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

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,681 Ratings  ·  129 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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The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. NormanDon't Make Me Think by Steve KrugThe Elements of User Experience by Jesse James GarrettAbout Face 3 by Alan Cooper100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan M. Weinschenk
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
...more
Sarah Alirezaee
Sep 10, 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.
اما...

I'm aaaall done with Industrial Design! :D
...more
Michael Scott
Jun 19, 2011 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
...more
sleeps9hours
Apr 18, 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
...more
Stephanie W
Nov 16, 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
...more
Danien
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
...more
Shaina
Nov 08, 2011 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
...more
Khalid Sulami
Feb 02, 2016 Khalid Sulami rated it it was amazing
Take-Aways
Overall Applicability Innovation Style
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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
...more
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
Victoria Lee
May 24, 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'
...more
Graham Herrli
Aug 29, 2015 Graham Herrli rated it it was ok
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
...more
Ali
Apr 26, 2015 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
Feb 03, 2016 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.
Nick Gotch
Jan 28, 2010 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
...more
Mitchell
Jan 16, 2009 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
...more
Mangoo
Nov 09, 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
Apr 11, 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'
...more
Areeg Samy
Sep 01, 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
Andrea
Jun 15, 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
...more
Ganes Kesari
Mar 27, 2016 Ganes Kesari rated it really liked it
I read this book first, before Norman's classic 'Design of Everyday things'. This is recommended reading to understand the basics of affect & emotion, its role in decision making and how one can influence all of this through design.

After a sound introduction of the 3 levels of design, Norman applies this to various fields and explores the finer nuances at play. This includes a brief, design-oriented attempt to touch upon robotics and conceptualising intelligent machines of the future.
Spencer
Oct 12, 2015 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
...more
Eric
May 06, 2008 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
...more
Tsuki
Jul 14, 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
...more
Mark Harris
Feb 24, 2016 Mark Harris rated it it was ok
A bit dated now, as it was published in 2004. For example, home computers have "sound systems" and DVD drives, but business computers don't. There's an anecdote about getting the password for a terminal. If you haven't read The Design of Everyday Things, start there and come back to this one if you want more.
David
Jul 04, 2015 David rated it liked it
This is my 3rd book by D Norman. Lots of repeat from Design of Future Things and Design of Everyday Things. Gets little bit deeper into emotional aspect of the design. Also, I should stop reading dated business books - even if about design. Take aways.
- Visceral: for initial reaction. what nature does
- Behavioral: all about use
- Reflective: message. meaning.
Hoby
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
...more
Chris Parker
May 09, 2016 Chris Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does an incredible job at converting what design is and how it connects to our emotional self. The first few chapters are possibly some of the best written in the field of design. The book does however suffer from age, in that it spends a lot of time in the last half focusing on robots as autonomous roaming items. This book was written before the iPhone and couldn't foresee that rather than mechanical robots, we would have cloud computing and intelligence connecting static items. Howev ...more
Beth
Feb 17, 2016 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
...more
Mutasem Al-abweh
May 05, 2016 Mutasem Al-abweh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Designers, anyone
Recommended to Mutasem by: Scott Klemmer (https://www.coursera.org/learn/human-...)
I cannot tell you how well-worded this book is. It is a book for anyone interested in understanding the effect of design on our decisions, whether it were buying a CASIO or a Rolex. The examples used in this book are unique, unlike what I have just mentioned which is why every minute spent with this book will keep reassuring your logic.
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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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