Monday, August 16, 2010

Task 6: Video Reflection - Don Norman: Emotional Design

Don Norman demonstrates that a design can be seen but not understood for its intended purpose. He considers in his design the usefulness of products that aren’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing, but influence the urge for the consumer to want and buy it. This gives me an insight as to what really is involved in design. Don Norman has demonstrated that a product can be useful but at the same time ugly, misinterpreted for its use due to the objects appearance. Regardless of the purpose of the design Don Norman moves on to looking at the appeal of design as a way to influence emotional design meaning that an unusual appealing product can evoke a consumers wants, needs and sense of fun as he states “My new life is trying to understand what beauty is about and pretty and emotions. The new me, is all about making things kind of neat and fun.” He used the example of Philippe Spark’s Juicer to demonstrate that he has it as a furniture piece, more than the intended use as a juicer. The provoking emotions of beauty, fun and quirkiness has made him come to this conclusion of the juicer.

With Don Norman’s sense of humour and enthusiasm he has made me discover that emotional design is a way for consumers to love and look for the beauty in the designed object itself and not always focus on the use of the object but the feelings it provokes you to have with it and the way you use it. For example Don Norman comments on the Global Cutting Knife, he describes it as a beautiful, well balanced shaped design. This emotion is projected through the motion and purpose of the design, as when the knife is used, it slices with effortless delight. From this example I understand Don Norman’s theory on emotion in design, which is also demonstrated through the aesthetic, function and reflection of a product. A design that has an aesthetic appeal and the function provoking the same sensation of appeal will create an emotional design. Consumers after using the product will remember the design, due to the sensation they got from the product.

He explains aspects of design should have elements of fun, as he states, “I really feel that pleasant things work better and they never made any sense to me until I finally figured out... it changes the way you think...makes you focused.” For examples, the MINI Cooper Automobile was being promoted in magazines as a car with a lot of faults but buying it anyway, experienced the sensation of fun in the design of the car, as the interior of the car was well finished and made him feel a sense of fun and enjoyment. From this it explains that a design can be more than a purposeful item, with the element of fun in design it makes products more interesting and full of life.

However, this video also gave me insight to the way the sense of colour, the likes and dislikes of humans, facial expressions, change in temperature, sound and bitter tastes, communicates emotional designs and makes the emotions of the design felt by the consumer. The choice of fonts and the colour red, symbolises and suggests hot and exciting, used in design as a ploy to attract consumers to the product, eg. the 1963 Jaguar, which was a badly structured car, but due to its appeal and beauty of the design people loved it.

Also with the choice of a water bottle, consumers don’t buy the water bottle for the water but for the shape and design of the bottle. The components of this design are not only based on the product itself, but the consumers emotions. The elements and principles of design used is a way for the consumer to feel a want and need for it with an emotional attachment. Something as simple as a colour can influence an emotion so powerful for a consumer to buy the product for its appeal or beauty, not for its intended purpose, as Don Norman quotes, “It’s all about the visceral experience.”

Through the discovery of emotional design, it explains that the behavioural design is an influence on human’s emotions, as the way a design looks, functions or feels, encourages the communication of a design, the same way emotions are seen, they are communicated. Emotions are interpreted in categories of good, bad, safe, dangerous etc, similar in a design of a teapot, were when the teapot is situated upwards it is communicating that it is finished and communicates to a waiter that it needs to be refilled. The emotions in design have to reflect the consumer emotions and wants.

From the conclusion of this video, I recommend Industrial Designers to see this video, to inspire oneself in design, as a product that has an aesthetic appeal and a function with an emotional output, encourages fun design as the reflective emotions of the design are influence in the user, which is understood to be the emotions communicated from the product. Having a fun and beautiful design can influence the consumer to also enjoy the product, not for its use but for the product itself.

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