Top critical review
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Starts off well and then fades away into robots etc.
on 25 April 2011
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.