Designing for Emotion: Chapter 5

Overcoming Obstacles is the title of the fifth chapter of Walter’s book. Suitably, chapter 5 deals with overcoming the myriad reasons why consumers would dislike or choose not to use a specific product or brand. The main reasons given by Walter that need to be overcome are emotional ties, laziness and apathy.

I somewhat agree with Walter on the claims that purchases we make or products we use are selected on instinct. In many cases, yes, people will choose a brand or product based on how they feel at that moment or how they fell about that particular brand. Many times, consumer instinct is to remain in their own comfort zone and their purchasing behavior reflects that.

On the other hand there are many times thatI would consider one brand or product to be of a higher quality or more personally appealing to me, but I will buy a different product because it may cost less or last longer. Purchasing decisions can’t be made purely on emotion. At times logic must be applied as well.

I did like Walter’s discussions on failure. It is okay to make mistakes as long as we as designers look bar at our brand and make sure the right message is being communicated to consumers. A design must function reliably and connect emotionally.


Originally posted at Nick Edwards

Chapter 5: Overcoming Obstacles

I thoroughly liked that the author prefaced the chapter by stating that, as humans, we are skeptical of new people and ideas, so, therefore, your website has to persuade without evoking skepticism. I thought that this tied really well into the whole emotion (gut) as a deciding factor theory. Not to mention it was nice to see the basics that we learned at the start of the class (typography, color, contrast, etc.) in relation to using them to instill a “gut reaction” within consumers. Furthermore, I felt the example was spot on with the overall concept of the chapter. The word “free” really does instill skepticism within our minds. The idea that we can overcome that barrier and gain trust through web design (i.e. keeping “gut reaction” in mind) is solid. Having never seen’s website before, I actually saw the concepts the author was talking about within the layout. The colors, the accessibility, the tone – all done strategically and, I think, done well.

I also completely agreed with the “laziness” obstacle to overcome. In fact, I know many people who do not use Dropbox simply because of the hassle. This concept is the reason why I don’t exactly agree with the idea of the success rate of the “games” that Dropbox utilized. To me, those types of steps are even a further turn off. However, that is just one person’s opinion. It could also be due to the fact that I have never tried Dropbox, for the suggestion that accomplishment could be used as a viable incentive seems pretty feasible, in general.

The last facet of the chapter – apathy – is, I believe, the hardest to overcome, but, as the author noted, not impossible. I do firmly believe that a well developed idea presented in an emotionally engaging manner is apathy’s kryptonite.

Originally posted at CK1

Conflicts with Design


This week I read chapter 5 of Walters’s book Designing for Emotion. The chapter was about how the flaws of people’s personalities can conflict with your designs. These flaws can be traits such as: laziness, skepticism, and apathy. He said that your designs need to be able to work against these problems. I loved how he used the example of a used car salesman to describe how people can be skeptical of new products. I can definitely relate to this, because I feel like anytime I go to a store where the workers get paid off of commission I feel like I am being attacked by vouchers. It is the same way with designs for selling products when I see lots of pop-ups or flashy designs I am very reluctant to buy the product. I thought it was cool how the site Mint used a softer design to appeal to people, because I had never really thought of that but it is true. It is kind of like going to a market place and you see the salesmen dressed differently, but selling the same product. Obviously I am going to buy the product from the salesman who is dressed nicer and looks more professional. I could also relate to how he used Dropbox as example of how to fight laziness. I began using Dropbox last summer with my internship. It is a hassle to get started up and figure out how to do everything, but it keeps you motivated along the way, which is really smart of them. I loved how he talked about surveys/focus groups in this chapter. It was a good review for me from my PR Research class that I took last semester. I had also never thought about usability tests for a design and I think that is such a great idea to incorporate.

Originally posted at Tyler Martin Mahoney

Overcoming Obstacles

In Chapter 5 of “Designing for Emotion”, Aarron Walter discusses overcoming the obstacles with design. One statement I had never thought about was when Walter said, “People really aren’t as lazy as we think they are. They’re just looking for the path of least resistance to their destination,” (72). Thus meaning every time we criticize someone for being lazy, this is not a true characteristic of the person. They are looking for an easy way out of things, and who doesn’t these days?

However, I almost disagree with this statement because although I wouldn’t say laziness is a characteristic, I would say that it is more of a habit. When a person is lazy and his or her friends know it, they don’t go to them as much for things because they don’t think he or she will get the job done. For example, if you were to do a group project, you wouldn’t want the person perceived as lazy to be one of your group members. You would want someone who could give back and participate in making it the best project possible. Therefore, although I did realize this statement was interesting, I do not necessarily agree with this thought.

I enjoyed this chapter, and liked how he did not write too much about this topic. Sometimes writers can write too much about a certain subject, but Walter perfectly explained overcoming obstacles without exaggerating his writing. I did not realize how short this book was, so I’m surprised how fast we’ve read through it already! I’m interested in seeing how he ends this book, so I’m planning on finishing Chapters 6 and 7. I’m curious in finding out what “Forgiveness” is in Chapter 6. Overall, it’s been an interesting book that I’ve enjoyed thus far!

Originally posted at Megan Young - Gaylord Student

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

I never stopped to think about how many decisions I don’t think about and just do.  Some things are so automatic and routine they require no cognitive thought to perform them, even something as complex as driving to work. Scary to think I would get into a car, merge onto the highway and not think […]

Originally posted at Dusti-PR pubs

Designing for Emotion- Chapter 5

Chapter 5 in Designing for Emotion is called Overcoming Obstacles. The chapter is mainly about overcoming all the reasons why people may choose to no like your brand or use your product. This chapter talked about the three reasons you have to overcome to convince people to use your product. Those reasons are emotional ties, laziness, and apathy.

Something that I did not agree with the author with on how people make what we call “gut decisions” or decisions based purely on emotion. Walter first talked about how we make everyday decisions like what we are wearing just because we feel like it. He then compared this to the decision making process about the products or services we use. If something doesn’t “feel” right we tend not to use it. Although I do agree with this partial I do not think we make decisions on products solely based on emotions. For example I do not buy into a product until I read reviews on it or have read more about what I am thinking about purchasing. It is not all about making it “feel right.” You have to be selling a reliable and functional product or people’s gut feeling about your product will not last.

What I did like about this chapter is how at the end Walter talks about failure. As beginning designers it is important to know that there are times where are designs are not going to have the affect we want them to and that’s ok! What you need to do when this happens is go back, look at your brand, and make sure it is conveying the right message. You have to make sure your design is making the right emotional connection, along with being functional, and reliable.

Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course

Project 1 – Business Card & Letterhead

For our first project in JMC 3433, we were given the task of making a business card and a letterhead. We also used our designing skills to make an electronic email through MailChimp.

I decided to create my project for the dance studio I teach at in Oklahoma City called Everything Goes Dance Studio. I have been teaching at this studio since October. I wanted to encompass the fun and exciting atmosphere the studio provides for its students while also making a professional product. This was not an easy task. The logo of Everything Goes Dance Studio is very bold and bright with lots of colors. This was easy to work with when I wanted to express how fun the dance studio was, but not so easy when I wanted to create a professional product (due to the excessive amounts of color).

My audience for the business card and letterhead is potential clients to the dance studio, or current clients. Realizing my audience is what made me personally realize that the excessive color and interesting font would fit my audience perfectly. These products would be sent to people who either want to experience what the dance studio is like, or already know the studios personality. It was at this point that I was finally able to have fun with my design and really cater to the clients needs instead of stressing about it looking extremely professional.

I used the logo in my designs because it is on all of the studio merchandise, and is the symbol of the studio. I kept the same color schemes of the logo fir the text in my design because I believed it represented the fun and exhilarating characteristics of the studio. I used fun and different fonts for the same reason, and believe it will really catch viewer’s eyes. I also created a slogan or catch phrase for the studio, “Won’t You Dance With Us?”

For MailChimp I created an email costume letter. Usually the studio prints copies of the letter and gives them to the students in hopes that they will make it to their parents. With MailChimp; however, I would be able to send the letter to all of the parent’s emails very quickly and efficiently without going through the students. I am very glad that I learned about MailChimp, and I definitely plan to use it in the future.

Overall, I learned so much about design through this process. As my first project, I was expecting for frustration to be a part of the process, and it definitely was. But I also learned about different software and applications, as well as how to cater to my audience while also pleasing the owner of a business.

Below are my final products.




Business Card Back

Back of Business Card

Business Card Front


Font of Business Card

Originally posted at OU Public Relations Publications

First Class Assignment

Business Card Business Card2


The first project in my publications class was to make a business card and a newsletter. It proved to be a bit challenging a times, but in the end it all came together.

The company I chose was a behavioral health agency named Kreative Behavioral Health Services. The audience would be those interested in working in the mental health field or applying to be a client.

The design concept was to use an image the company already had which was a lightbulb and a circle of friends. I decided to revamp the logo and stuck with the lightbulb because I think it reflects coming up with an idea like that eureka moment. I decided to use a dark background color and light text color so that it would pop. The orange is somewhat warm and seems inviting.

I learned that designing can be tough and you will make mistakes. It is something you can’t get attached to because you’ll probably end up changing something in the end. I went through a few different looks but in the end this one stuck. Using Pinterest was also a big help.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

Business Card and Letterhead

BC Final Letterhead Assignment Final The business card is tied to the brand through giving contact information about the president of the organization as well as providing the organizations logo and slogan. The letterhead tied into the brand through almost the same things, contact information, logo and slogan, but also gives some insight on an […]

Originally posted at Taylor Ashley's PR Pubs

Assignment 1: Business Card and Letterhead

During the course of this assignment, I faced many challenges. First, and foremost, regardless of it being my fourth year in Gaylord, I am not a Mac user, so getting to know a new computer system was already an obstacle to overcome. Not to mention I had never used InDesign or any other type of photo-editing program in my life. Therefore, I had a lot of hurdles to go over during the course of this project. 


The first week was frustrating, to say the least. I had no idea what I was doing or how to get what was in my head on to paper. I had so many grandiose ideas that I just couldn’t conceptualize with my little knowledge of the program. By week 2 I had settled on a simpler design – something more achievable.

Being a Dell subscriber, I could not work on this project outside of class. Furthermore, living in the city meant I could only work on this project when I was in Norman – two days a week. This was specifically hard for me because I am more of an at-home learner. In other words, when inspiration strikes I like to be able to live in “the now” and work on it right away.

By the end of week three I really found my groove. Something kind of clicked in my head during class, and I ended up with an hour and a half break until my next class, so I went to the lab and got to work. I finally felt like I was getting the hang of things; my letterhead basically did itself. I’m still no master, but I do feel like I can hold my own.

Overall, I’m proud of my first go around with InDesign. I’m also actually excited to see what the future holds between me and this program!

Business CardBusiness Card2Letterhead

Originally posted at CK1