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Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things Paperback – 20 Apr 2005


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Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things + The Design of Everyday Things, revised and expanded edition + Universal Principles of Design, Revised and Updated: 115 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions and Teach Through Design
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (20 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465051367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465051366
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"The book pops with fresh paradigms, applying scientific rigor to our romance with the inanimate. You'll never see housewares the same way again."

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.

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NOAM TRACTINSKY, AN ISRAELI SCIENTIST, WAS puzzled. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on 17 July 2005
Format: Hardcover
While this book was at times fascinating, entertaining and easy to read, I believe that it was not as inspirational as Norman's classic book, The Design of Everyday Things. The first half of the book serves as a useful overview into the psychological theory of emotion and is written in simple and plain English. However, the second half of the book goes on to discuss how we may interact with robots and machines in the future and while interesting to read, it does become slightly repetitive at times.
This book is not up to the same (very high) standard as some of Norman's previous work, but is still an interesting, insightful and easy read. Definitely worth a look!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jan 2007
Format: Paperback
Understanding the emotions consumers feel about the objects you sell can help your business make the most of its product designs. Expert Donald Norman explains how being attractive, fun and enjoyable makes a product better. He explains that the emotions which affect purchase decisions are based on three aspects of design: "visceral" (appearance), "behavioral" (performance) and "reflective" (memories and experiences). He provides interesting case studies to show how objects evoke emotions. Norman's central theme is that "attractive things work better." And, the book works best when he hews to that theme; the last section, where he veers into a discussion of robots, doesn't seem as pertinent or as strong. We recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand how design affects emotions, and how emotions affect purchasing decisions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 26 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book about the many levels of design. Often, you can get something that works well, but is ugly; conversely, you can get something that looks great but doesn't really work. The great service of this book is that Prof. Norman creates a useful framework to categorise and analyse these things. It is thoughtful, often funny, and in my experience covers the field accurately and concisely.

First, according to Norman, there is the behavioral level, that is, how the thing functions. This is how many people, in particular Americans, approach the objects that they buy: if it works and is durable yet not expensive, it is a good deal. Second, there is the visceral level, which is the (perhaps innate and genetically programmed) reaction that a buyer had to the appearence of something bought. It is about beauty, the appearence of safety, and the like. Third, there is the reflective level, which includes the personal associations of the consumer as well as the intended subtexts that a designer might attempt to incorporate. THe latter two are more favored by the design-loving cultural elites in continental Europe, and they are prepared to pay a lot for them as well as discard still-usable goods for the latest fashion. It is an entirely different mentality and linked to personal pleasure and a sense of emotional satisfaction that come from these objects, which blur the line of design and art.

While all products reflect these three levels, more often than not one is favored by any given firm in the product design process. Target goes for level one with its cheap and useful products, but with Graves' and Starck's designer goods is attempting to appraoch the other levels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By F. Stevenson on 25 April 2011
Format: Paperback
I looked forward very much to reading Donald Norman's next 'big number' after his fantastic text 'Design of Everyday Things'. 'Emotional Design' starts well with the introduction of the 'visceral, behavioural, reflective' level of user engagement, but from then on, conceptually, it all goes downhill.

The first three chapters offer new insightful material which explains how to take into account emotion in design, but the later chapters,'Fun and Games', 'People and Places', and 'Emotional Machines' (read: Robots for everything) really don't seem to go anywhere new.

To be honest, the idea of robots serving up everything does not inspire me in the same way as it does Donald Norman. It just seems like a lot more machinery to maintain and manage, at a time when we need to become more skilful ourselves, rather than deskilling ourselves and handing on our intelligence to machines.

I work with 'smart' buildings, and see just how often machinery breaks down. It's depressing.

Coming back to Donald Norman's book - the fact that it has been put together from a variety of separate sources shows. It is really an edited book of his conference talks and other events, and it would be more honest to sell it like this.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. P. J. A. Wicks VINE VOICE on 3 Nov 2005
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed The Psychology of Everyday Things, but I found this book disappointing. Donald Norman makes some comments that make him sound like an out-of-touch IT teacher at school rather than a master of clever design.
The suggestion that we might one day all have clever boxes in rooms of our houses, say that showed us how to do auto repairs in the garage, or cook a recipe in the kitchen, seem to have bypassed entirely the concepts of the Internet, Wi-Fi, and LCD flatscreens. Why re-invent the wheel? Similarly, how could a book on the way thought and emotion interact in the design of products possibly neglect to include the Apple IPod? This thing has totally revolutionised consumer electronics but instead we're treated to a chapter about the design of kettles.
There's the kernels of some good ideas in here, but they're not followed through with particularly impressive thinking. I'd be very interested to see someone else tackle this area from a more modern perspective.
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