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

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9780465051359: Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things

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, a fact fans of Don Norman's classic The Design of Everyday Things cannot afford to ignore.In recent years, the design community has focused on making products easier to use. But as Norman amply demonstrates in this fascinating and important new book, design experts have vastly underestimated the role of emotion on our experience of everyday objects.Emotional Design analyzes the profound influence of this deceptively simple idea, 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. In the future, will inanimate objects respond to human emotions? Is it possible to create emotional robots?Norman addresses these provocative questions--drawing on a wealth of examples and the latest scientific insights--in this bold exploration of the objects in our everyday world.

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About the Author:

Donald A. Norman is Professor of Computer Science at Northwestern University, a former Apple Fellow,” and a partner in the Nielsen Norman Group Consulting Firm, which consults with corporations on design. He is the author of a number of books on design, including Emotional Design and the best-selling The Design of Everyday Things. He lives in Northbrook, Illinois and Palo Alto, California.

From Publishers Weekly:

Techno author Norman, a professor of computer science and cofounder of a consulting firm that promotes human-centered products, extends the range of his earlier work, The Design of Everyday Things, to include the role emotion plays in consumer purchases. According to Norman, human decision making is dependent on both conscious cognition and affect (conscious or subconscious emotion). This combination is why, for example, a beautiful set of old mechanical drawing instruments greatly appealed to Norman and a colleague: they evoked nostalgia (emotion), even though they both knew the tools were not practical to use (cognition). Human reaction to design exists on three levels: visceral (appearance), behavioral (how the item performs) and reflective. The reflective dimension is what the product evokes in the user in terms of self-image or individual satisfaction. Norman's analysis of the design elements in products such as automobiles, watches and computers will pique the interest of many readers, not just those in the design or technology fields. He explores how music and sound both contribute negatively or positively to the design of electronic equipment, like the ring of a cell phone or beeps ("Engineers wanted to signal that some operation had been done.... The result is that all of our equipment beeps at us"). Norman's theories about how robots (referred to here as emotional machines) will interact with humans and the important jobs they will perform are intriguing, but weigh down an already complex text.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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