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Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things Paperback – May 11, 2005
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"The book pops with fresh paradigms, applying scientific rigor to our romance with the inanimate. You'll never see housewares the same way again."
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Herbert A. Simon
"An interesting exception to these problems comes when designers or engineers are building something for themselves that they will frequently use in their own everyday lives. Such products tend to excel. As a result, the best products today, from a behavioral point of view, are often those that come from the athletic, sports, and craft industries, because these products do get designed, purchased, and used by people who put behavior above everything else. Go to a good hardware store and examine the hand tools used by gardeners, woodworkers, and machinists. These tools, developed over centuries of use, are carefully designed to feel good, to be balanced, to give precise feedback, and to perform well. Go to a good outfitter’s shop and look at a mountain climber’s tools or at the tents and backpacks used by serious hikers and campers. Or go to a professional chef’s supply house and examine what real chefs buy and use in their kitchens."
Norman, Don (2007-03-20). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things (p. 82). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.
"Engineers and other logical people tend to dismiss the visceral
response as irrelevant. Engineers are proud of the inherent quality of their work and dismayed when inferior products sell better “just because they look better.” But all of us make these kinds of judgments, even those very logical engineers. That’s why they love some of their tools and dislike others. Visceral responses matter."
First few chapters were interesting talking about design and emotion and how we perceive things.
But then it got sort of prolonged and not so interesting....And the reviews also reflect this point.
Hence, I would not recommend this book. I suggest just googling Don Norman and reading his stuff there instead of this book.
The book starts well and comes straight to the point of Norman's main theory: design perception happens on a visceral, behavioural and a reflective level. He then continues with his explanation of what that means for design. This is all pretty good stuff, and although it's quite theoretical, it's easy to see that there is a lot of clever thinking involved. This theory is the reason why I gave the book 3 stars and not 2 - students of design should be acquainted with this theory, and I'm a strong believer in students hearing theories from the horse's mouth. However, I would then continue to recommend reading it until examples and predictions of the future start, and then simply put the book down and tell everybody you've read the whole thing. Nobody will challenge you on that.
This book, like its predecessors, is a fast read. It is written at a low level and nothing in it is too hard to grasp. However, it is too long. I found myself skipping whole paragraphs simply because Normas was repeating something he had written just a few sentences back. I feel the book could be half its length and not lose any content.
It's also not as inspirational as his previous books. There were none of the "a ha!" insights that permeated The Design of Everyday Things or Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles.
Still, it's a good read. The next time I'm in the store, I'll be more cognizant of the reasons why I prefer one brand over another of otherwise identical products.
The following examples are good: The teapots, the souvenir monument, the two watches, Pirovano's tea strainer, Phillippe Starck's "Juicy Salif" juicer. The "poor chair" picture is also good, though it's not discussed much.
However, after the initial premise is stated the book seems to go on for a while, and as I was reading some pages I found myself wondering, "What was this chapter supposed to be about?" I also found myself wanting more, better examples, and more contrast, such as showing, "Here are two products in the same category, and this is why Product A is good and Product B is not." As the book is about emotional design, I thought it also needed many more photos of products, again possibly showing good/interesting design vs. bad.