Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Don Norman & Emotional Design

Donald Norman Posted by Hello

Don Norman opened Wednesday's keynote address at the PalmSource MobileSummit & DevCon 2005 with a well received and intriguing presentation of Emotional Design. Don Norman, best known for interaction design presented various illustrations to demonstrate the elements that combine to deliver an ‘emotional impact’ in the context of software design – which definitely challenged some developers in the audience; on top of brilliant written PalmOS code is the usability factor. Village Sim by Last Day of Work was cited as a good example.

Our brain is organized with two info-processing systems: Cognition (understanding) and emotion (judgement). He described three design levels of emotional attachment which consists of:

Visceral : We are pre-wired with perceptions. Do we perceive the product as pretty/beautiful/appealing? In other words physical features such as look, feel and sound can be visceral; just as a chef would concentrate on presentation, or a car door with a nice solid “thump” when shut or the rumble of a Harley Davidson exhaust.

Behavioral : It’s all about use. Simply put, function, understandability, usability and physical feel (automatic mechanisms that happen without conscious intervention.) Designers should discover needs in order “that even the people who need them cannot yet articulate.” Cup holders in cars? Yes! Seat controls – push button forward, seat moves forward.

Reflective : Its about the message, self image, culture whereby people become committed to a product or its use. A Timex watch or a Swatch watch – they both do the same thing, (keep time) probably as well as each other, but what is the reflective image?

The challenge to the software developers was to think about “delivering solutions and convenience” beyond the code. Geeks ignore the bottom two levels, but this is where companies and products live and die.

Emotional Design Posted by Hello

Everyone received a copy of Don Norman’s latest book entitled “Emotional Design”.

Thanks to Google Print, you can read part of the book here:
Google Print Search: Emotional Design: Why We Love or Hate Everyday Things

Here's a review:
If you’ve ever labored to bring something to market, you’ve probably been party to this daisy chain of blame: designers and engineers fight vicious battles over form vs. function; marketing and the ad agency bicker over on-strategy content relative to award-winning graphics and copy; and everyone loathes the fluffy “branding” ruminations of the chief marketer. As is the case in the fields of physics or economics, what we product developers really need is a grand unifying theory – a way to get these divergent viewpoints pulling together in order to make great stuff. Well, search no longer, for Donald Norman serves up a comprehensive theory of product development in his remarkable Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things.
Read the rest here: 800-CEO-READ Blog: Book Review: Emotional Design

For your ears: IT Conversations: Don Norman - Emotional Design

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