Emotional Design (Chapters 1, 3)


This articles talks about my reflections on ‘Emotional Design (Chapter 1 and Chapter 3)’ by Donald A. Norman. The chapter 1 takes the reader through the basics of emotional design, the theory behind success of attractive products, human behavioral traits and creativity involved in product design. Later in chapter 3, he explains in detail the three (3) levels of Design: Visceral, Behavioral and Reflective, which he introduced in Chapter 1. Further, he explains the importance of ‘Reliable Design’ through a case study of ‘The National Football League Headset’.

The reading was a foundation course on emotional design. First, it taught me how attractive designs can work better by creating positive experiences and how emotions are crucial while designing products. It also enlightened me with the basics of emotional design with the help of the three level design model: Visceral,  Behavioral and Reflective. The visceral feelings when one drives a Jaguar, the ease in using simple designs like the seat controls, and the lucid message the watch gives needs no stressful interpretation. Designing products abiding by all the three levels can create wonderful experiences. Also, they help in reducing the trouble and pain associated with products designed otherwise. I also liked the concept of Reliable design which Norman illustrates with the help of a case study on The National Football League Headset. The headset created by Motorola was designed by the Herbst LaZar Bell design firm. While designing the headset, reliable communication between the coaches and the staff was extremely vital. The case study provided lot of insights about how maintaining reliability in design was a challenge due to other factors involved like cool new looks, easy to use and effective communication.


Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂