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

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Overview


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.
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Editorial Reviews

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. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Norman (computer science, Northeastern Univ.) here expands on his earlier works (e.g., The Psychology of Everyday Things), advancing the idea that the emotional qualities of the things that surround us (largely products) have as much-or more-impact than their technical or logistical considerations and should be designed accordingly. Beginning at an elementary level (teapots and juicers), moving into cars and cell phones, and then settling on robots for the last several chapters, Norman effectively demonstrates that people have more rewarding relationships with the things in their lives that bring them joy to use than those that don't. While this may seem to be an elementary concept, the book is littered with familiar examples in which designers held such ideas in contempt or ignored them altogether. While the initial chapters are generally breezy and will appeal to a broader audience, the book tends to bog down at the end, where casual readers might find lengthy ruminations regarding their kitchen robot's ability to butter toast a tad esoteric. Recommended for academic libraries, particularly those with collections in robotics.-Phil Hamlett, Turner & Assocs., San Francisco Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465051366
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/9/2005
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 381,746
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet 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.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Three Teapots 3
1 Attractive Things Work Better 17
2 The Multiple Faces of Emotion and Design 35
3 Three Levels of Design: Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective 63
4 Fun and Games 99
5 People, Places, and Things 135
6 Emotional Machines 161
7 The Future of Robots 195
Epilogue: We Are All Designers 213
Personal Reflections and Acknowledgments 229
Notes 235
References 243
Index 249
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2004

    When will designers get it right?

    This book is a continuation of Norman's excellent 'The Design of Everyday Things'. Here he discusses how our visceral, behavioral, or reflective reaction to things and processes bear upon their value to us. The book started out strong, but I was disappointed in Norman's digression into robotics:their future as machine emotion is programmed into their creation. I would have preferred more discussion on the emotional impact of things we deal with now; more examples, more challenges to designers of the accouterments of our daily lives. Still and all, Norman is an engaging writer with a childlike fascination for our world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

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