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Emotional Design

November 2, 2012 by Georgia Konzel   

It is said that the best design innovations come from strong emotions within the design team. When the team is very passionate about what they are trying to create, they make sure the product turns out great. That strong emotion can lead to new ideas which can create very important and successful products. Emotional Design can help the design team better understand the world around them by having them tap into their emotions and feelings. This will create the ability of the design team to use those feelings to design something they are very passionate about.  Although emotional design helps when creating new products, it can also be very useful when trying to modify a product to make it better. Emotional design is a very important source of innovation.

When I went to take money out of my wallet this morning to pay for a coffee, I couldn’t find where I kept my change. When purchasing my wallet, I loved the outside print and exterior design; I never realized how impractical the wallet is organized. At that moment at the coffee shop, I was feeling very frustrated, rushed (because there was a long line behind me), and just annoyed with how my wallet is set up. If I was an engineer who deals with designing wallets  I would use this experience and these emotions as a guide on how I would want a wallet designed. Emotional design can be very important because it taps in to how a user really feels about a product when interacting with it.

Emotional Design also involves how a reader feels about a whole type of this product. For example, If a user says “I hate brushing my teeth because I hate they way all toothpastes taste.” Since the consumer expressed how they are unsatisfied with all types of toothpastes, the goal as a designer would be to create the kind that accomplishes the same goal, but is different enough so that the user has good feelings about it. In this situation, emotional design allows the design team to create a product that is different than everything that the user is unhappy with.

While searching for information about emotional design, I came across a website that explained how a good company allows their product to emotionally connect with the user. They encouraged that any interaction with the customer about the product should create pleasant emotions. The Design and Emotion Society is an organization of people who look for ways to better their product through an emotional level. They  take input from the members, on what strategies work when connecting emotionally, and allow other members of the group access to those ideas. They also hold conferences that educate future designers about different ways to allow their product to emotionally connect with the audience, and how that emotional connection is necessary for a successful product.

What my wallet looked like.


  1. Ryan Kaverman says:

    I agree that emotional design can be looked at in a good way as you have pointed out in this blog. However, I also seem to think it can be a negative thing. It seems to me that emotional design can lead to a smaller target audience. Maybe not everyone thinks or feels the way people in your design study do, so it will lead to a less marketable product.

  2. Richard says:

    good topic and nice example. I just got a new laptop and it has windows 8, that triggered a lot of +&- emotions

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