Emotional Design (Norman, 2004)

Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things (Donald Norman, 2004)

Emotional DesignThree basic processes (visceral, emotional, and reflective) guide our interactions with the everyday things in our lives. The visceral reaction is our gut reaction; the behavioral reaction is based upon our ability to use a product; and the reflective process is the cognitive analysis an emotional reaction. “Emotion is inseparable from cognition,” says Bill Gary.

Kristen Odell notes that successful films are those that touch us on one (or more) of these three levels. The combination of these three levels make a robust experience for the user/viewer.

“Emotional design is not only for a product, but also for a process,” notes Valarie Udeh. The book reaffirmed the management style that provides a relaxed place for people to be creative, to brainstorm, and to perform. From a product development perspective, these designs impact enhancement and innovation.

“Most accidents are not cause by human error, but by poor design,” says Gary (quoting Norman). The role of design is to create aesthetic pleasure, ease of use, or fond memories. Processes that we design create opportunities for successful (or failed) social interaction.

Even though this book isn’t about digital media, the author addresses the products and processes that we use everyday and the way that they interact with us.

  • Overall Response: This well designed book was full of worthwhile ideas and compelling commentary for both product and process. We loved it.

About Digital Media Book Club: In the growing field of strategic communication, social media rockstars, academics, and digital thinkers are investing time and energy to share their learning with others. In my Digital Strategic Communication class, students in the Master of Arts in Organizational and Strategic Communication program at Queens University of Charlotte are sifting through a variety of texts to discover the embedded wisdom. These are their thoughts and reactions.

One thought on “Emotional Design (Norman, 2004)

  1. I would love to read the book “Emotional Design: Why we love ( or hate) everyday things because you made it sound very interesting. I always think studying people’s reactions gives me so many new insights, and I would really learn new things if the book discusses people’s appeal to products and services in everyday life. Visceral, emotional, and reflective reactions guide every reaction I have to anything, something I never knew, but it makes perfect sense. Next time I really enjoy something, such as a movie, I will think about why I was drawn to it and it will probably follow the 3 basic processes.

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