Design and emotion
“It’s almost shunned to say it: men and women are not the same. This is usually interpreted as meaning not equals. However, the fact that they are different is actually quite interesting. So: equals but fortunately not the same. Designers should also be conscious of this difference”, Bernique Tool
Design and emotion share an interesting correlation. Some products have a strong emotional connotation, think of an alarm clock for example. An alarm clock has a major effect on your mood in the morning, so why should the product not take your feelings into account?
Other products are simply hard to probe, for instance a product aimed at autistic children: how does one uncover the bond between the user and the product in such a case? Design and emotion offers designers tools to handle these situations.
And of course (consumer) products in general appeal to our emotions, to our sense of self. The products we surround ourselves with (have to) reflect who we are, who we want to be, or how we wish others to see us. The latter I find both intriguing and disconcerting: I highly recommend watching the amazing yet disheartening BBC documentary “The Century of the Self“, describing how consumerism has dictated our paths since its inception. The documentary makes you question your role and responsibility as a product designer: are you going to use your skills and abilities to try and push limits and inspire, or are you going to fall in line with contemporary consumerism to create purely profit driven incremental product changes?