Emotional Design

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Emotional Design is both the title of a book by Donald Norman and of the concept it represents.


The main topic covered is how emotions have a crucial role in the human ability to understand the world, and how they learn new things. For example: aesthetically pleasing objects appear to the user to be more effective, by virtue of their sensual appeal. This is due to the affinity the user feels for an object that appeals to them, due to the formation of an emotional connection with the object.

Norman's approach is based on classical ABC model of attitudes. However, he changed the concept to be suitable for application in design. The three dimensions have new names (visceral, behavioral and reflective level) and partially new content. In the book, Norman shows that design of most objects are perceived on all three levels (dimensions). Therefore a good design should address all three levels.


The front cover of Emotional Design showcases Philippe Starck's Juicy Salif, an icon of industrial design that Norman heralds as an "item of seduction" and the manifestation of his thesis.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Norman, Donald Arthur (2005). Emotional Design. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-05136-7.