Designing For Emotion – Chapter 2 (Designing For Humans)

In chapter two of the book Designing For Emotion, we studied how to design for the human eye. The author discussed many topics, but the most appealing to me was when it discussed contrast. According to webster-merriam contrast means to be different especially in a way that is very obvious and also to compare two people or things to show how they are different.

This concept of contrast I believe is probably the toughest when designing. The  author, Aaron Walter, explains that contrast influences our users’ activity in simple and profound ways. He uses Tumblr as a prime example. I think that Tumblr initially has a clean and simple look that is very different than others, but I don’t think that it is completely simple for users to use because of the design it has once users sign up. The contrast on the page is actually space rather than color or photos.  The user is drawn in to the small menu signup / login in page and the outer is just negative space. This type of contrast is visual rather than cognitive.

Something I disagree with in this section is the statement Donald Norman said in his book titled Emotional Design, “Attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively. How does that make something easier to use? Simple, by making it easier for people to find solutions to the problems they encounter.” (Excerpt From: Aarron Walter. “Designing for Emotion.” iBooks.) I do think that when things look attractive it does make people feel more creative, but the second part of this statement doesn’t seem so true. Yes people can find the answer to problems they may encounter, but just because something has an attractive design it doesn’t mean that it will be easy to answer a problem you may have. I think having a good design makes users more apt to try your product, website, etc. but ultimately it’s all in what you are saying and ease of use.


Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs

Chapter 2 Post

I was very interested in the topic of contrast. I had never used Tumblr before so I had not had a chance to see their home page. I think it is very cool that they can get more out of their site by doing less with it visually. You don’t really notice it but it is very true that simple sites are easiest to use. My first thought was that maybe that is one reason that people seem to be moving away from facebook. To me it look very cluttered, particularly with the adds on the right side.

I want to apply this class to my field and get the most out of it I can so I tried to think about how I can use this in sports. I thought of our Game Notes. Every time we have a game we publish a packet of notes with all the pertinent information on it. Some university’s notes are very cluttered and hard to read and I’m sure they are not a popular as some. OU I think, does a much better job of using contrast and simplicity to draw the eye naturally and make things easier to read.

link to OU Game Notes


link to example of cluttered game notes

Georgia Tech’s notes are organized but the lack of contrast in text size and boldness makes it seem like a huge block of text that is less inviting to read. In OU’s notes, if you really want to just glance at it, you can look at the bolded numbers and pick up a quick blurb or stat with minimal effort.

I think that use of contrast makes OU’s notes very readable and more effective than some others.

Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications