Designing for Emotion – Chapter Two

Chapter 2 – Designing for Emotion

This chapter talks about the emotions we have as human beings. It starts off by emphasizing the fact that humans are born with emotions, whereas other traits like language and courtesy are developed over time. The author also explains that human nature is reflected behind every aspect of design.Ch 2
One thing I had never thought about before reading this chapter are the physical traits that draw adults to young babies. “The proportions of a baby’s face–large eyes, small nose, pronounced forehead–are a pattern our brains recognize as very special.” As a designer, this is very helpful to know when creating characters. The author explains that by using the principle of “baby-face bias” when creating a mascot, the designer can create a better connection with the audience.
It was also interesting to learn that the human mind picks up on the golden ratio, even in web design. The only other time I have heard of this concept, was when I took Geometry at 15. I had no idea web designers took it so seriously.
Although the chapter has a lot of interesting information, one thing I disagree with is Donald Norman’s argument that beauty improves cognitive abilities such as creativity. I agree that beauty makes people feel good, but I feel that people think more creatively when presented with an empty canvas… For example, if I see ugly interior decor, I immediately start thinking of ways to make the place seem nicer that would appeal to my taste and personal creativity. If I were to think of ways to arrange an already pretty room, my creativeness would be “blocked” by the beauty and would probably not be able to think of a different arrangement.

Originally posted at Brought to you by Brooke