Design That Makes Us Warm and Fuzzy

by Julia Hummel

Don Norman talks about the importance of emotion when it comes to affecting design. It changes the way you think, and the way you look at things, your emotions and the way you feel changes whether or not you like a design, what catches your eye, and more importantly what makes you want to buy a product. Sometimes you can be instantly attracted to a design and feel inclined to purchase it before even knowing its function purely because of the attractiveness of the design. Norman describes this way of thinking as a way of living. This video opens up our eyes to appreciating the look and design of things almost even before we appreciate its function. Sometimes we purchase things because we like the way they look, not because we are going to be using it. Similar to how Norman describes the juice maker as something he features in his house without actually using it, is a good example of something my cousin Ashley does. Ashley is a successful makeup artist with a wide collection of makeup and special edition products. Ashley owns an expensive makeup brush with a unique design that she never intends on using. The way the bristles on the brush was cut is almost as if it is in the shape of a cube, as well as the handle of the brush. The cube handle has diamond cut designs throughout the plastic, creating a chic and expensive look. This makeup brush is kept in a box, and only taken out to look at and not intended for use, purely because of its amazing design.

Norman talks about the happy emotion we get when we discover memorable truly clever designs. As a Graphic Design student, I work towards creating exactly what Norman describes. One day, I want to be able to create things that people look at and instantly evokes a happy emotion just because of the  way it looks and is designed. I want other people to feel the same way I have felt about some of the most clever and successful designs. I agree with Norman when he speaks about brainstorming, thinking out of the box, and allowing yourself to keep an open mind to produce concepts. Norman brings up a very important point that I can relate to greatly. The concept that your very own emotions, well-being, and how you feel, effects your creativity and overall design. The only way to create a successful design is when you have a clear, open, happy mind and attitude. The days where I become very frustrated with my design, is when I face design blocks. Those design blocks are most commonly fuelled by other negative things affecting other areas of my life. I believe the best way to create successful design that evokes the positive emotion that Norman talks about, is by being in that same positive state of mind. One of the most important things I took away from this video is keeping Visceral, and behavioural emotion in mind when designing.