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

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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 spend thousands of dollars on Gucci bags and Rolex watches, to the impact of emotion on the everyday objects of tomorrow.Norman draws on a wealth of examples and the latest scientific insights to present a bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world. Emotional Design will appeal not only to designers and manufacturers but also to managers, psychologists, and general readers who love to think about their stuff.

272 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Donald A. Norman

38 books1,274 followers
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 Britannica. He currently splits his time between consulting, teaching, and writing. He co-founded the Nielsen Norman Group, a consulting group on matters of usability, which also includes Jakob Nielsen and Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini.

Many of Norman's books deal mostly with usability or with cognitive psychology. He loves products which are enjoyable to use, a feature which he attributes to putting together emotion and design, or heart and mind.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 231 reviews
July 13, 2019
Unexpectedly deep.
Of course, the author goes a bit too far with his discussion of teapots and emotions they invoke in the user. But quite a lot of it is sheer brilliance distilled.
I HAVE A COLLECTION OF TEAPOTS. One of them is completely unusable—the handle is on the same side as the spout. It was invented by the French artist Jacques Carelman, who called it a coffeepot: a "coffeepot for masochists." (c)
Design is important to me, but which design I choose depends on the occasion, the context, and above all, my mood. These objects are more than utilitarian. As art, they lighten up my day. Perhaps more important, each conveys a personal meaning: each has its own story. One reflects my past, my crusade against unusable objects. One reflects my future, my campaign for beauty. And the third represents a fascinating mixture of the functional and the charming. (c)
The teapots also illustrate three different aspects of design: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. Visceral design concerns itself with appearances. Here is where the Nanna teapot excels—I so enjoy its appearance, especially when filled with the amber hues of tea, lit from beneath by the flame of its warming candle. Behavioral design has to do with the pleasure and effectiveness of use. Here both the tilting teapot and my little metal ball are winners. Finally, reflective design considers the rationalization and intellectualization of a product. (c)
The objects in our lives are more than mere material possessions. We take pride in them, not necessarily because we are showing off our wealth or status, but because of the meanings they bring to our lives. A person's most beloved objects may well be inexpensive trinkets, frayed furniture, or photographs and books, often tattered, dirty, or faded. A favorite object is a symbol, setting up a positive frame of mind, a reminder of pleasant memories, or sometimes an expression of one's self. And this object always has a story, a remembrance, and something that that ties us personally to this particular object, this particular thing. (c)
Emotions are out of place in a polite, sophisticated society. They are remnants of our animal origins, but we humans must learn to rise above them. At least, that is the perceived wisdom.
Nonsense! Emotions are inseparable from and a necessary part of cognition. Everything we do, everything we think is tinged with emotion, much of it subconscious. In turn, our emotions change the way we think, and serve as constant guides to appropriate behavior, steering us away from the bad, guiding us toward the good. (c)
In the 1980s, in writing The Design of Everyday Things, I didn't take emotions into account. I addressed utility and usability, function and form, all in a logical, dispassionate way—even though I am infuriated by poorly designed objects. But now I've changed. Why? In part because of new scientific advances in our understanding of the brain and of how emotion and cognition are thoroughly intertwined. We scientists now understand how important emotion is to everyday life, how valuable. Sure, utility and usability are important, but without fun and pleasure, joy and excitement, and yes, anxiety and anger, fear and rage, our lives would be incomplete.
Along with emotions, there is one other point as well: aesthetics, attractiveness, and beauty. (c) Can't help thinking he went a bit oberboeard with it all.
Indeed, emotion makes you smart. (c)
One of the ways by which emotions work is through neurochemicals that bathe particular brain centers and modify perception, decision making, and behavior. These neurochemicals change the parameters of thought. (c)
The surprise is that we now have evidence that aesthetically pleasing objects enable you to work better. As I shall demonstrate, products and systems that make you feel good are easier to deal with and produce more harmonious results. When you wash and polish your car, doesn't it seem to drive better? When you bathe and dress up in clean, fancy clothes, don't you feel better? And when you use a wonderful, well-balanced, aesthetically pleasing garden or woodworking tool, tennis racket or pair of skis, don't you perform better? (c)
... I am talking here about affect, not just emotion. A major theme of this book is that much of human behavior is subconscious, beneath conscious awareness. Consciousness comes late, both in evolution and also in the way the brain processes information; many judgments have already been determined before they reach consciousness. Both affect and cognition are information-processing systems, but they have different functions. The affective system makes judgments and quickly helps you determine which things in the environment are dangerous or safe, good or bad. The cognitive system interprets and makes sense of the world. Affect is the general term for the judgmental system, whether conscious or subconscious. Emotion is the conscious experience of affect, complete with attribution of its cause and identification of its object. The queasy, uneasy feeling you might experience, without knowing why, is affect. Anger at Harry, the used-car salesman, who overcharged you for an unsatisfactory vehicle, is emotion. You are angry at something—Harry—for a reason. Note that cognition and affect influence one another: some emotions and affective states are driven by cognition, while affect often impacts cognition. (c)
As I've said, cognition interprets and understands the world around you, while emotions allow you to make quick decisions about it. Usually, you react emotionally to a situation before you assess it cognitively, since survival is more important than understanding. But sometimes cognition comes first. One of the powers of the human mind is its ability to dream, to imagine, and to plan for the future. In this creative soaring of the mind, thought and cognition unleash emotion, and are in turn changed themselves. (c)
These and related findings suggest the role of aesthetics in product design: attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively. How does that make something easier to use? Simple, by making it easier for people to find solutions to the problems they encounter. With most products, if the first thing you try fails to produce the desired result, the most natural response is to try again, only with more effort. In today's world of computercontrolled products, doing the same operation over again is very unlikely to yield better results. The correct response is to look for alternative solutions. The tendency to repeat the same operation over again is especially likely for those who are anxious or tense. This state of negative affect leads people to focus upon the problematic details, and if this strategy fails to provide a solution, they get even more tense, more anxious, and increase their concentration upon those troublesome details. Contrast this behavior with those who are in a positive emotional state, but encountering the same problem. These people are apt to look around for alternative approaches, which is very likely to lead to a satisfying end. Afterward, the tense and anxious people will complain about the difficulties whereas the relaxed, happy ones will probably not even remember them. In other words, happy people are more effective in finding alternative solutions and, as a result, are tolerant of minor difficulties. (c)
With positive affect, you are more likely to see the forest than the trees, to prefer the big picture and not to concentrate upon details. On the other hand, when you are sad or anxious, feeling negative affect, you are more likely to see the trees before the forest, the details before the big picture. (c)
Those situations and objects that, throughout evolutionary history, offer food, warmth, or protection give rise to positive affect. These conditions include:
warm, comfortably lit places,
temperate climate,
sweet tastes and smells,
bright, highly saturated hues,
"soothing" sounds and simple melodies and rhythms,
harmonious music and sounds,
smiling faces,
rhythmic beats,
"attractive" people,
symmetrical objects,
rounded, smooth objects,
"sensuous" feelings, sounds, and shapes. (c)
The Elvish demonstration points out the relationship between the sounds of a language and the meaning of words. At first glance, this sounds nonsensical—after all, words are arbitrary. But more and more evidence piles up linking sounds to particular general meanings. For instance, vowels are warm and soft: feminine is the term frequently used. Harsh sounds are, well, harsh—just like the word "harsh" itself and the "sh" sound in particular. Snakes hiss and slither; and note the sibilants, the hissing of the "s" sounds. Plosives, sounds caused when the air is stopped briefly, then released—explosively—are hard, metallic; the word "masculine" is often applied to them. The "k" of "mosquito" and the "p" in "happy" are plosive. And, yes, there is evidence that word choices are not arbitrary: a sound symbolism governs the development of a language. This is another instance where artists, poets in this case, have long known the power of sounds to evoke affect and emotions within the readers of—or, more accurately, listeners to—poetry. (c)
Emotions, moods, traits, and personality are all aspects of the different ways in which people's minds work, especially along the affective, emotional domain. Emotions change behavior over a relatively short term, for they are responsive to the immediate events. Emotions last for relatively short periods—minutes or hours. Moods are longer lasting, measured perhaps in hours or days. Traits are very long-lasting, years or even a lifetime. And personality is the particular collection of traits of a person that last a lifetime. But all of these are changeable as well. We all have multiple personalities, emphasizing some traits when with families, a different set when with friends. We all change our operating parameters to be appropriate for the situation we are in. (c)
Flow is a motivating, captivating, addictive state. It can arise from transactions with valued things. "Household objects," say Csikszentmihalyi and Rochberg-Halton, "facilitate flow experiences in two different ways. On the one hand, by providing a familiar symbolic context they reaffirm the identity of the owner. On die other hand, objects in the household might provide opportunities for flow directly, by engaging the attention of people." (c)
Profile Image for Erika RS.
705 reviews184 followers
January 24, 2013
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 the interaction. Furthermore, when you enjoy using something, you may be more willing to forgive problems. Delightful design cannot rescue an unusable design, but all else being equal, the delightful design will seem easier to use and cause greater attachment.

Another reason that emotion is important in design is that users' relationships to objects are built on more than just the perceived usability and pleasure in using the items. Emotion is important because it taps into higher level human concerns such as image and status.

The second part of the book felt out of place. It discussed robots and why they need to have some equivalent of emotions. The discussion was interesting, but it did not seem to really fit with the description given by the title ("why we love (or hate) everyday things). It felt like the second part of the book was bolted on because the first part was not long enough to be a book on its own. Because it went so contrary to my expectations for the rest of the book, I just could not enjoy it, even though it may have been interesting on its own.

Overall, I would say that the first first of the book should be considered required reading if you have read The Design of Everyday Things. The second half you can take or leave depending on how interested you are in robots.
Profile Image for Sarah Alirezaee.
78 reviews
September 10, 2015
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
Profile Image for Marysya Rudska.
186 reviews64 followers
February 17, 2021
У цій книжці Дональд Норман ділиться своїми роздумами про те, як речі впливають на наші емоції. Він розділяє кілька рівнів дизайну: функціональний (річ робить те, що він неї очікують), інстинктивний (річ гарна, приємна на доторк) і рефлективний (річ розповідає чи стосується історії, яка нас цікавить). Всі ці три рівня можуть по-різному взаємодіяти в різних речах. І часом щоб абсолютно незручне у використанні може бути милим серцю через гарний вигляд чи приємні спогади про цю річ.
Книжка спонукає до роздумів про речі, які я створюю і якими себе оточую.
Це не підручник і не структуроване наукове дослідження, не шукайте ту практичних порад та ідей. Це - роздуми автора на тему емоцій в дизайні. Деякі моементи були трохи нудні, інші ж навпаки цікаві й надихаючі. Значна ��астина тексту присвячена роботам і якось слабо в'язалась з темою книжки, заявленою на обкладинці.
Загалом було цікаво прочитати, але навряд чи я її коли-небудь перечитуватиму.

Українське ��идання зроблену дуже добре. Хороший переклад з увагою до деталей, приємна верстка - все як треба!
6 reviews
April 3, 2020
I bought this book because of the epilogue and the prologue and was disappointed to find out those were the best parts.

I would completely cut the chapters on emotional machines and the future of robots which is nothing more than Don Norman's conjecture on how robots might exist and ends with his robot manifesto.

Highlights include

Will robot athletes compete, if not with humans, then perhaps in their own leagues — but thereby leading to the demise of human leagues?

What if a robot pet bites someone? Who is legally responsible?
Profile Image for Ihor.
124 reviews4 followers
February 22, 2020
Чудовий погляд на дизайн як щось більше, ніж інтерфейси, рекламу чи матеріальний концепт. Аналіз емоцій людей, того як ми сприймаємо інформацію, які процеси відбуваються в наших черепних коробках все це є в книзі. Багато в чому перегукується з іншими книгами з психології та дизайну, чи то швидше вони перегукуються з цією, бо перше видання "Емоційного дизайну" було вже добряче давненько.
Досвід набутий з книгою — приємний. Особливо тішить, коли книжки верстає Микола Ковальчук, бо тоді можна тішитись не лише тим, що в книжці написано, але й тим, як воно скомпоновано.
Profile Image for Amber Lea.
632 reviews90 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 20, 2022
DNF page 70.

I feel like the same few points are just being repeated over and over and over again in slightly different ways and I'm starting to go insane. It seems this book is never going to go anywhere.

I also read in a review that the second half of the book is all about robots, and there was this paragraph in the beginning that tipped me off to what we're in store for there:

"Just as emotions are critical to human behavior, they are equally critical for intelligent machines, especially autonomous machines of the future that will help people in their daily activities. Robots, to be successful, will have to have emotions (a topic I discuss in more detail in chapter 6). Not necessarily the same as human emotions, these will, be emotions nonetheless, ones tailor to the needs and requirements of a robot. Furthermore, the machines and products of the future may be able to sense human emotions and respond accordingly. Soothe you when you are upset, humor you, console you and, play with you."

I'm like mmm, I just wanted to read a book about why people like some designs more than others. I feel like I'm getting something else entirely here.
Profile Image for Danien.
44 reviews
March 11, 2010
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 explores the nature of the relationships that people form with objects, and it does this by investigating Why and How people form these bonds. It provides suggestions on how to nurture the good emotions and how to avoid bad ones in order to improve on the design of a product, and ultimately, make people feel good about how to use products correctly and productively. This is the level at which designers and product developers need to apply their craft at, to create the iPod vs a regular personal music player.

Coming from the game and software development perspective, I would highly recommend this book to game designers as a fundamental text, and also to tools designers to take content creation tools design to a new level. Imagine if people love using your software so much they become attached to it.
Profile Image for Gaurab.
15 reviews
October 18, 2016
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!
Profile Image for Michael Scott.
724 reviews131 followers
June 19, 2011
(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 interested exclusively in performance and function, and that emotion plays an important role in what we think about objects.

Norman introduces a framework for our response to objects, with three layers. The visceral layer is where humans react to thrills, colors, lighting, etc.; there is little or no thinking involved at this layer. For example, when the camera angle points upwards to the face of the character, we understand (as a gut feeling, or sensation) that the character is a hero. At the behavioral layer, humans think about the properties of the object, and place themselves in the role of users/participants. This is the layer where humans appreciate the functionality, usability, and performance of objects. At the reflective layer, humans take a metaphorical step back and analyze the object and the way they can interact with it. For example, even a colorless and useless (broken) object can appeal at this layer to humans, who may be attracted by a story that includes the object (how the object was broken during a war, while in the pocket of a long-gone grandparent).

The book abounds in excellent writing and ideas (for a rather technical mind). Here are three things I've noticed, at very different levels. Norman argues in Chapter 5 that "the real power of Instant Messaging isn't the message [...] it's the presence detection. Knowing that someone is there." I was wondering since the first mention in this book of the word robot about Asimov's "Laws of Robotics", and thought that Norman is focusing much on the individual objects and not about groups, so (1) Was he going to discuss these laws? (2) Was he going to discuss the Zeroth Law? To my real, deep surprise, Norman did both, and quite excellently so. (This alone increased the rating I've given this book by a star.) I was also very interested to read about personalization and customization, two issues I'm struggling with in my own designs. There's not much about them in this book, but there's something. For the rest ... there's too much to discuss in this review.

While I enjoyed the book and I liked much of it, I was less impressed with its novelty and depth. First, I am not sure about the novelty of this position. For once, in computer science and in particular in computer-human interaction and computer graphics the importance of aesthetics was understood much earlier, perhaps even from the beginning of the 1990s (see the focus of the SIGGRAPH conferences of that era). The researchers of entertainment, especially movies, have developed very similar frameworks much earlier; Norman refers to Jon Boorstin's The Hollywood Eye: What Makes Movies Work (1990). Second, I am sure many must have raised this objection, but Norman's view is very much rich-country oriented. There are billions of people to which Norman's book surely does not yet apply, and Norman should have mentioned this. Third, some of the treatment of the more technical aspects, such as deadlocks when contending for resources and its potential solutions, is truly naive.

Overall, a very good and modern book on design, with an almost exclusive focus on aesthetics. Perhaps not as good as The Design of Everyday Things, but an excellent companion. Rec: must-read for every designer of user-facing products.
Profile Image for sleeps9hours.
362 reviews2 followers
April 18, 2009
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 pedant lecturing at the front of the classroom, forcing students to listen to material they have no interest in , that appears irrelevant to their daily lives. Lectures and textbooks are the easiest way to teach from the point of view of the teacher, but the least effective for the learner. The most powerful learning takes place when well-motivated students get excited by a topic and then struggle with the concepts, learning how to apply them to issues they care about. Yes, struggle: learning is an active, dynamic process, and struggle is a part of it. But when students care about something the struggle is enjoyable. This is how great teaching has always taken place—not through lecturing, but through apprenticeship, coaching, and mentoring. This is how athletes learn. This is the essence of the attraction of video games, except that in games, what students learn is of little practical value. These methods are well known in the learning sciences, where they are called problem-based, inquiry-learning, or constructivist.
Here is where emotion plays its part. Students learn best when motivated, when they care. They need to be emotionally involved, to be drawn to the excitement of the topic. This is why examples, diagrams and illustrations, videos and animated illustrations are so powerful. Learning need not be a dull and dreary exercise, not even learning about what are normally considered dull and dreary topics: every topic can be made exciting, every topic excites the emotions of someone, so why not excite everyone? It is time for lessons to become alive, for history to be seen as a human struggle, for students to understand and appreciate the structure of art, music, science, and mathematics. How can these topics be made exciting? By making them relevant to the lives of each individual student. This is often most effective by having students put their skills to immediate application. Developing exciting, emotionally engaging, and intellectually effective learning experiences is truly a design challenge worthy of the best talent in the world.
Robots, machines, and computers can be of great assistance in instruction by providing the framework for motivated, problem-based learning. Computer learning systems can provide simulated worlds in which students can explore problems in science, literature, history, or the arts. Robot teachers can make it easy to search the world’s libraries and knowledge bases. Human teachers will no longer have to lecture, but instead can spend their time as coaches and mentors, helping to teach not only the topic, but also how best to learn, so that the students will maintain their curiosity through life, as well as the ability to teach themselves when necessary. Human teachers are still essential, but they can play a different, much more supportive and constructive role than they do today.

Profile Image for Moh. Nasiri.
293 reviews95 followers
August 4, 2019
معرفی کتاب: طراحی حسی
عنوان انگلیسی: Emotional Design

آیا تابه حال به دلایل لذت بردن خود از محصولات اندیشیده اید؟ آیا هرگز فکر کرده اید که چرا یک اتومبیل شسته و پولیش شده به نظر بهتر و سریع تر از زمان کثیف بودن خود حرکت می کند؟ به چه دلیل کامپیوترهای اپل بعد از عرضه Imac با فروش بیشتر و قابل توجهی روبرو شدند؟ تحقیقات در دهه اخیر ثابت کرده اند که انسان ها علاوه بر استفاده یک محصول (صنعتی یا فرهنگی) با آن ارتباط احساسی نیز برقرار می کنند. دانلد نورمن نویسنده کتاب طراحی حسی، دلیل عشق (یا نفرت) ما به اشیاء روزمره، به بررسی علت و چگونگی این ارتباط احساسی انسان با اشیاء پیرامون خود پرداخته است.
وی معتقد است که واکنش افراد در برابر اشیاء در سه سطح غریزی، رفتاری و تفکری یا اندیشمند صورت می گیرد، یا به عبارت دیگر واکنش آنها در برابر اشیاء در این سه سوال خلاصه می شود: آیا دوستش دارم؟ (برخاسته از غریزه) آیا کار می کند؟ (برخاسته از منطق) آیا دوباره از آن استفاده خواهم کرد؟ (برخاسته از تجربیات و فرهنگ)

سطح غریزی با ظاهر، حس اولیه، صدا، بو و … محصول مرتبط است. سطح رفتاری به نحوه استفاده از آن ارتباط دارد و سطح تفکری تماماً در ارتباط با معنای محصول و پیام آن به مخاطب می باشد. نویسنده در بخش دوم کتاب کاربرد این سه اصل را در طراحی محصولات مورد بررسی قرار می دهد.

این کتاب از جدیدترین کتب در ارتباط با نقش عواطف و احساسات در طراحی محصولات بوده که مرجع مناسبی جهت مطالعه در این خصوص می باشد و اکنون نیز در بسیاری از دانشگاه های جهان به عنوان کتاب درسی تدریس می شود.

تهیه شده در: http://www.newdesign.ir/search.asp?id...
Profile Image for Diana Ishaqat.
82 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2022
I thought I would be the only one who thought that the first part of the book is significantly better than the rest, but seems like many others agree. I first thought that I’d definitely give it a 5.

I liked the depth in which everyday items were discussed and I also think that in some indirect ways, I’ll be making more conscious decisions in relation to consuming and gifting.

Also, this was written in 2003 but I thought it was an older book. The last part of it would probably resonate more for futurists and sci-fi-enthusiasts, who can just jump into these parts and read.

I enjoyed the way philosophy quotes and even Asimov (a philosopher in a way, too) were placed in the author’s discussions.
Profile Image for Okey Chiezey.
2 reviews
July 9, 2021
The first chapters were captivating, the ability to translate emotions and understand the first 3 responses to design: visceral, behavioral, and reflective.
The last few chapters were somewhat disappointing as he goes off into robots and the next generation of robots will be able to perceive and respond to emotions completely goes off trail and might lead to underappreciating the good perspectives in the first few chapters.
Overall gives you a moderate delve into the perceptions of design and how we tend to respond to them, a fair 3 stars was a just rating for this book.
Profile Image for Kirian.
12 reviews
May 8, 2020
Un libro muy interesante donde el autor nos muestra una nueva forma de diseñar y plantear un problema. Haciendo ver los sentimientos que puede generar la forma de un objeto x y el apego que pueda genera a un posible usuario.
Profile Image for Marcelo.
47 reviews
June 20, 2022
Took me a while to finish the last chapter (having a kid tends to diminish reading sessions eheh), but it is definitely an interesting read (and introduction) on cognition, emotion and design.
17 reviews
March 14, 2018
When I started reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised because it was much better than I had expected. I read Norman's another bestseller, The Design of Everyday Things, a few years ago and got the impression that he was very outdated and boring author.

However, the first half of this book was not old at all. It seemed that the author updated his theory and started to think about different levels of design. For example:

"all my previous work focused upon behavioral design. I still maintain that an iterative, human-centered approach works well for behavioral design, but it is not necessarily appropriate for either the visceral or the reflective side. When it comes to these levels, the iterative method is design by compromise, by committee, and by consensus. This guarantees a result that is safe and effective, but invariably dull."

This is exactly what I've been thinking about human centered design. I wonder why UX people don't talk about it when they talk about user satisfaction and delightfulness, while they use Norman's older , rather boring theories a lot.

The main idea of this book is that designers should aim for creating emotional values rather than just usable things. The author expands his imagination and talks about extensive set of themes -- such as mobile communication, games, artificial intelligence and emotional robots. Some examples became a little bit old, as the recent development of technologies have outran his ideas, but the essential ideas are still valid and thought-provoking.

The problem of this book is that the author tends to be too verbose, as was the case with his previous book. He employs bunch of examples to support his arguments, which makes this book rather hard to keep reading. I came to feel like "hey dad, I've already heard that story 10 times before. Besides I didn't even ask about it". As a result, the impression or UX after reading this book was not so satisfactory.
Profile Image for Alex Pricop.
37 reviews11 followers
September 15, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Stephanie H.
243 reviews10 followers
November 17, 2011
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 be white but has faded to a off yellow due to age. It works better than anything else and is a conversation starter because of the now defunct Montgomery Ward logo on the side. My collection of books are a testament to my identity, and our coffee table books show the world our varied interests.

I enjoyed the book in the first half when it was about aspects of design. However, the later half about AI and robots seemed fade in and out. it did not hold my interest as much as I would have liked. If they had stuck to the aspects of what makes the Mini or Macbook Pro or titled teapots desirable, I would have enjoyed it more than a deviation in the later half of the story.
Profile Image for Tú Pa.
9 reviews
October 21, 2017
Norman has a beautiful, special view of our everyday life. If you already read The design of everyday things, Emotional design might seem not as good as it, until the epilogue part. Yes, we're all designer as he said. We just simply can't negate it:

"We are all designers. We manipulate the environment, the better to serve our needs. We select what items to own, which to have around us. We build, buy, arrange, and restructure: all this is a form of design.

We are all designers—and have to be. Professional designers can make things that are attractive and that work well. They can create beautiful products...But they cannot make something personal, make something we bond to. Nobody can do that for us: we must do it for ourselves.

We are all designers—because we must be. We live our lives, encounter success and failure, joy and sadness. We structure our own worlds to support ourselves throughout life."
Profile Image for Jon Nguyen.
102 reviews28 followers
October 21, 2019
This is a useful book in understanding how “soft” things like emotion and aesthetics play into the design of products. There’s a good combination of theory, anecdote, and speculation, which makes it nice to read.

The only issue is that it was published back in 2004, and could use an update based on all that’s happened since then. He wrote it in a world before smartphones, modern social media platforms, chatbots, deep learning, and many other advancements.

Most of his predictions about the future seem to have fared pretty well. Surprisingly, he speculates a lot about topics that have since become very relevant, such as the design of bots, AI, automated vehicles, and social media platforms, and he got a lot of it right. A new version of the book would really be nice to see, to revisit and refresh the discussion of these topics.
Profile Image for MFD.
4 reviews
February 24, 2021
I loved this book when I read it in high school and geeked out and left a sticky note for the author on his office door when I toured UC San Diego. I was so excited by what I found here. I was excited except for what he said in the end. His argument that robots need emotions to be better servants to people makes no sense to me. Emotions in a "creature" require will to honor them. Robots having no emotions is what makes it ethical for them to do serve us in the ways they do. His idea of true robot servants with emotions just reads like slavery to me. Why give something the capacity to feel when its purpose can be realized without that capacity? Program it to do what you want instead of feel like doing what you want. (????) That was ridiculous to me I can't understand how he got to that conclusion. That aside I loved this book.
Profile Image for Shaina.
26 reviews4 followers
November 8, 2011
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 whether we like or hate an object, regardless of its function--I couldn't force my way through the prose to engage in the ideas.

Profile Image for Ali E9.
74 reviews24 followers
April 26, 2015
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
Profile Image for Sara.
86 reviews19 followers
August 28, 2017

الكتاب يبدأ بوصف مشاعرنا تجاه المنتجات إلي نستخدمها، وكيف نتعامل معها بناءا على ذلك و بعدين يدخل في تعامل الأجهزة معنا ومشاعرها الغير حقيقية مثل الروبوت

المغزى الأساسي بالنسبة لي
لما تحب منتج راح تقدر تبدع أكثر و تستمتع فيه وتتغاضى عن أغلاطه! فالسؤال هو كيف تخلي أحد يحب المنتج حقك؟

Profile Image for Mahdi Khosravi.
61 reviews4 followers
November 17, 2017
به هر کسی که کوچکترین علاقه‌ای به طراحی یا تولید محصول داشته پیش‌نهاد می‌کنم. مثال‌های فوق‌العاده و کاربردی، دید باز و از همه مهم‌تر، از دید غیر کسب‌و‌کار و انسانی نگاه کرده.
البته بخش آخر که در مورد ربات‌ها بود مورد علاقه‌ی من نبود.
Profile Image for Guilherme Gontijo.
Author 4 books8 followers
February 3, 2016
50% good, 50% bad. The second half is all about AI emotional design. Interesting, but not very useful for graphic design.
Profile Image for Kevin.
34 reviews
October 8, 2017
Repetitive, uninteresting examples, preaching to the choir, little to no evidence, not very actionable.
Profile Image for Serhat Türkel.
103 reviews1 follower
April 11, 2022
bir ürünün tasarımının iyi ya da kötü olduğunu belirlemek için 3 farklı bakış açısına birden uygun olması üzerine bir premise’le yazılmış ve beklentilerimi fazlasıyla karşılayan bir kitap ortaya çıkmış. kitap boyunca visceral, behavioral ve reflective olmak üzere 3 farklı tasarım uyumluluğuna dikkat çekiliyor.

bu tasarımlardan yaklaşımlarından ilki bir ürünün dışarıdan görünümü; yani renk, şekil vb. fiziksel özellikleri. yazar bu özelliklerin kullanıcı tercihlerine etkisini araştırmalara dayandırarak da detaylandırıyor. hatta fiziksel olarak çekici bir ürünün kolay kullanıma sahip olduğuna dair kullanıcı görüşleri de bulunuyormuş. bunun kültürel bir görüş olmadığını japonya ve portekiz gibi iki farklı ülkedeki araştırmalardan da anlayabiliyoruz. insanlar için, ürünlerin görünüşlerine dayandırılan beğenilerin; tercihlerinde ne denli etkili olduğunu biliyoruz. siyah, kırmızı, pembe, mavi,… gibi renkleri düşünebiliriz mesela. bir çakmak satın alırken bile, aynı fonksiyonalitedeki yan yana duran çakmaklar arasından beğendiğimiz renge sahip olan satın alabiliyoruz.

ikinci olarak bahsedilen tasarım, yazarın önceki kitabı “gündelik şeylerin tasarımı”nda detaylı olarak bahsettiği fonksiyonalite ve kullanılabilirliğe yoğunlaşıyor. kullanıcı ve ürün arasındaki etkileşimin uygun şekilde dizayn edilmesinin önemini anlayabiliyoruz. hepimiz bir bilgisayar programının, uygulamasının yavaş çalışmasının veya hata vermesinin; insanları nasıl öfkelendirdiğine şahit olmuşuzdur, hatta buradaki öznenin kendisi olduğumuz durumlar da mevcut. yazar, feedback kavramının önemi ve her zaman tasarımlarda yer alması gerektiğini detaylı şekilde “gündelik şeylerin tasarımı”nda anlatmıştı. yine buradan örnekleyerek uygulamalardaki progress bar veya loader animasyonlarının neden bütün ürünlerde yer alması gerektiği, “computer rage”in panzehiri olarak sunuluyor; çünkü işlem sırasında hiçbir tepki vermeyen bir uygulama yerine, progress bar ile işlemin ne kadarının kaldığını gösteren bir grafik tercih sebebidir.

üçüncü olarak ise, bir ürünün veya o ürüne sahip olmanın yaratacağı imaj üzerine bir yaklaşım anlatılıyor. tabii ki mercedes gibi pahalı bir otomobil markası aklımıza gelebilir ilk olarak ve aslında yanlış da değil. ancak sadece aklımıza bu gelmemeli. denk fiyatlara sahip iki benzer kalitede ve fonksiyonalitede ürün arasındaki bir kıyaslamayı düşünelim mesela. bu iki ürün arasından birisi kadın haklarına destek veriyorsa ya da çevre dostuysa veya yardım kuruluşlarına her alınan ürün karşılığında bağışta bulunuyorsa, iki ürün arasından tercihiniz topluma faydalı ürün olur. imaj ile alakalı birkaç boyut bu şekilde ama daha fazlasını da düşünmek mümkün. bu ürünlere sahip olmak sizi farklı duygulardan yakalıyor. havalı görünmek, yardımseverliğin sağladığı gurur ya da farklı bir duygu olabilir.

bu kavramlar doğrultusunda hedefine odaklı ve başarılı bir kitap ortaya çıkmış ve tam kararında bir uzunlukta anlatılmış. neredeyse bir devam kitabı olmasına rağmen tek başına da çok değerli bir eser. don norman’ın tasarım ve yeni fikirler konusunda bir deha olduğunu da söylemek gerekir. kitabın 2003 yılında basılmış olması göz önüne alınırsa; sosyalleşme üzerinden verdiği örneklerle facebook, twitter, instagram gibi uygulamaların hayatımızdaki rolüne dair bize öngörülerini sunmuş olduğunun farkında da varabiliyoruz.
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