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Designing for Emotion Paperback – 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: n/a (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937557006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937557003
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aarron Walter (http://aarronwalter.com) is the Author of Building Findable Websites: Web Standards, SEOs and Beyond (http://buildingfindablewebsites.com), and co-author of InterACT With Web Standards: A holistic approach to web design (http://interactwithwebstandards.com). Aarron is the user experience design lead at MailChimp (http://mailchimp.com).

Aarron speaks at conferences on user experience design, findability, web standards, and the web design industry.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, this is a fantastic book and packed with great information. It's a small book, but that is because it's focused and well edited. Some of the examples are a little stale and may seem obvious now (dropbox viral model, mint's design) but that's only because these examples well chosen enough that they've become widely known.

My only complaint is not with the book but with the pricing re-sellers on amazon. This book is available directly from the publisher for almost half of what I found it for on amazon, and even less as an ebook. I mistakenly thought it was out of print so I ordered it here. If you're buying it from an amazon reseller, just check the original publisher and make sure you're getting the best price.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for any designer.

Aarron Walter, lead UX designer for MailChimp, cuts to the heart of the matter in this very important look at the psychology and craft of design.

Beginning our journey at the industrial revolution, Walter reminds us that the utopian vision of human progress spawned by the industrial revolution ultimately lead to a decline in craftsmanship with a focus on the mass production of mediocrity. He draws parallels between the web world, affirming that there is a market for that type of work as designers. He calls us, however, to a higher standard, with a look at the opening of marketplaces like Etsy and Kickstarter, who are creating space for the craftsmen to rise back up.

As he issues the challenge, your heart (if you're a designer) can't help but begin to beat in sync. (I think that's the idea).

Continuing, Walter smartly overlays Maslow's hierarchy of needs upon the process of design. Where Maslow speaks of basic physiological needs like breathing, eating, and sleeping, Walter translates that to functionality in design. Maslow's hierarchy moves to safety, and Walter translates that to reliability in design. We need to know the system's design is safe to use (credit cards, personal information, etc.), and without that sense of safety, we don't make transaction with the design. Maslow's chart next leads to love and belonging, and in design we translate that to usability. There is an intuitive sense each user has about where things belong, and they need to know they're going to work as expected.

The final two items on Maslow's hierarchy are esteem and self-actualization. Walter translates that to pleasure.
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Format: Paperback
This book is based on a simple premise, but an intriguing one: in any "human-computer interaction", the computer or the website is just a facilitator for what is truly human to human interaction. Why shouldn't a website, then, project a certain personality, which not only engages users but also improves usability?

This brief book explores a number of ways a website can appeal to users' emotions, such as surprise and delight (p. 49), anticipation (p. 55), exclusivity (p. 57), and variable rewards (p. 62), and provides several real-world examples. It's not an exhaustive guide on how to make a website pleasurable to use, but it should certainly spark plenty of ideas and inspire designers to strive for more than just usability and reliability.

You can read a longer review of this and a bunch of other web-designy books at the Web Designers Review of Books.
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Format: Paperback
Aarron Walter has written a fantastic book on how design psychology influences how we understand, relate and desire software, websites and even everyday objects. It is a concise look at how, when done properly, including humanizing design elements, incorporating certain techniques and craft provide users and customers with a positive emotional experience often referred to as "delight".

Walter discuses how Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be employed to help design user interfaces that create surprise, anticipation, and a feeling of exclusivity. He references a few real world websites including MailChimp (where he is the head user interface designer), Mint and Wufoo.

The book is written in a completely accessible manner, even for non-designers, and could just as well be describing how to "design" an actual business which can generate loyal, return customers. A quick read, well worth the time.
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