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Introduction to Design & Emotion

What makes a good product? While usability, accessibility, good design is important in every design, it is not the only factor in determining our liking for any particular object. A seemingly good product for you might not be the same for another. Why is that so? It is because we like things that evoke some sort of feeling inside us. We look for experiences that give us a positive feeling. Behind every successful product design is knowledge, if you want to provide a good user experience, you must know how your users feel and what factors affect those feelings.

You will find uncountable things in your house that may not be serving your purpose or that no longer look good, but we still hold onto it because it gives us some sense of connection that we are always looking for. A worn out sea-shell or an old tattered doll in your shelf might not mean anything to your friends but it reminds you of a happy childhood. This positive emotional response is what we should think about when we try to create an Emotional design.

What is Emotion design?

Emotion Design is when you take the positive feelings of delight you get while interacting with a design and apply it to your own product. You should evoke positive emotions, emotions like:

  • pleasure
  • joy
  • surprise (do something unexpected and pleasant)
  • attention (a suggestion for help, even if you’re not obliged to)
  • expectation (tell something interesting before the launch)
  • exclusivity (suggest something exclusive to people from your niche, for example, housewives)
  • anticipation combined with a strong personality

The Design of the Volkswagen Beetle car is an example of  the most successful design in the history of vehicle construction. Its headlights look like eyes & the rounded hood makes it look like it is smiling at you. This is human-like in design, which has helped many Beetle owners feel a personal connection to it.


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