17 August 2009

Video Reflection: Don Norman - Emotional Design

In Don Norman’s talk on emotional design, he suggests that, different to the ‘form follows function’ rhetoric left from Modernism, that we are emotionally driven towards and away from objects, and that these sentiments often have very little to do with the function of a particular object. Norman suggests there are three levels of emotional reaction to design.
Norman talks about the visceral level of design, how we physically and immediately respond to colour, typeface, the general appearance and ‘beauty’ of the objects.
The next, subconscious level is the behavioural level, how we react to the object. Is it automatic. The like to feel in control. Finally, reflective is the “super ego”. It’s buying a product to receive attention, either positive or negative from other people.
It is necessary for all designers to consider these aspects when designing products.
I found it interesting to see the instant reactions from the audience when certain products were shown. I particularly like the claw chair by Jake Cress.

The chair has dropped it’s ball and is trying to grab it before any one notices. The chair evokes an emotional response from the viewer. And also interestingly, the audience instantly believes this story.

*Image from http://www.jakecress.com/picture_gallery.htm

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