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Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things Paperback – May 11 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 1 edition (May 11 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465051367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465051366
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.4 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #111,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
NOAM TRACTINSKY, AN ISRAELI SCIENTIST, WAS puzzled. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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By Miguel B. Ouellet on April 12 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its was a super deal and the product look fine. A bunch of year then im looking for this book. Thanks a lot!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Hopper on May 1 2004
Format: Hardcover
People have needs, and products exist to fulfill those needs. People have a need for food, shelter, transportation and personal organization. Products like houses, cars and PDAs exist to fulfill these needs. It should go without saying that some needs are more important than others.
Don Norman has spent much of his life advocating for one of the fundamental needs that engineers often overlook: useability. This is human-centric or behavioral design.
In Emotional Design, Don Norman introduces the reader to the psychological underpinnings for this fundamental need, and finds that there are two other fundamental needs, too. These needs stem from the reflective, behavioral and visceral levels of cognition and affect. The visceral level is immediate and direct, reacting to the look, color or sound of a product and feeding in to the behavioral level. The behavioral level is concerned with how products function, and feeds in to and is affected by the reflective level. The reflective level is where we make value judgments, think about things, and where memory impacts our experiences.
As Norman states, people react to--and interact with--everything and everyone at all three levels; it's a basic fact of our psyche. Behavioral design, for which Norman has been an advocate for decades, works primarily at only the behavioral level. To make products that work even better, Norman argues that products must fully address people's (largely unspoken) needs at all three levels.
This isn't the same as "seeing people as needy, weak and emotionally dependent," as one reviewer claimed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love Donald Norman. I love the work he does, and I love what he's taught me. I got so much from The Design of Everyday Things. I got something out of Things That Make Us Smart. I didn't get much out of this one at all.
I think this is because I'm an impatient reader. For example, I don't read fiction. I want to read facts about things I can apply in a practical way. This book is much more about theory than practical applications.
I'm sure some people love reading theory, and they will love this book. But if you're like me and really want a book to deliver information you can use on every page, you should buy The Design of Everyday Things instead, if you haven't already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Crawford on Feb. 18 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book about the many levels of design. Often, you can get something that works well, but is ugly; conversely, you can get something that looks great but doesn't really work. The great service of this book is that Prof. Norman creates a useful framework to categorise and analyse these things. It is thoughtful, often funny, and in my experience covers the field accurately and concisely.
First, according to Norman, there is the behavioral level, that is, how the thing functions. This is how many people, in particular Americans, approach the objects that they buy: if it works and is durable yet not expensive, it is a good deal. Second, there is the visceral level, which is the (perhaps innate and genetically programmed) reaction that a buyer had to the appearence of something bought. It is about beauty, the appearence of safety, and the like. Third, there is the reflective level, which includes the personal associations of the consumer as well as the intended subtexts that a designer might attempt to incorporate. THe latter two are more favored by the design-loving cultural elites in continental Europe, and they are prepared to pay a lot for them as well as discard still-usable goods for the latest fashion. It is an entirely different mentality and linked to personal pleasure and a sense of emotional satisfaction that come from these objects, which blur the line of design and art.
While all products reflect these three levels, more often than not one is favored by any given firm in the product design process. Target goes for level one with its cheap and useful products, but with Graves' and Starck's designer goods is attempting to appraoch the other levels.
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Format: Paperback
I had been looking forward to this read for a long time, but was very disappointed. The book has very little in the way of examples or real world study. It is mostly a collection of direct quotes, random factoids, repetition of the same few thoughts, and the opinions and speculations of the author.

I will admit I read less than half of the book, but I stopped reading it when I realized that I had not learned or remembered a single useful thing in that first half.
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