Sunday, September 28, 2008

Emotional Design

The key points highlighted in the third chapter of Emotional Design were the three levels of design and how they can be used individually or collaboratively. The author emphasized the role of emotion in all three levels of design: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. He goes on to describe that visceral design focuses on the natural aspect of design and that the physical features dominate. The author states that behavioral design is all about the use and appearance doesn't matter too much. The four components of good behavioral design are function, understandability, usability, and physical feel. He points out that most designers don't pay attention to the products currently in the market but instead they continue to make new features and test them among other designers. The author says that to be effective, feedback must enhance the conceptual model. He also describes the two kinds of product development: enhancement (to make a product better) and innovation (to create a revolutionary product). Reflective design is about the message, culture, and meaning or use of a product. The essence of reflective design is that it is all in the mind of the beholder. The author also explains certain strategies that companies use to sell their product(s) and how they take advantage of the consumers. At the end of the reading, the author states that if you want a successful product, you should test and revise that product through a committee; however, if you wish to create a great product, you should leave the design up to someone with a clear vision.

The earlier writing can relate to the majority of the points established in this chapter. Many of the points made in both readings are related and can be used to explain each other. However, at the end of this chapter, the author describes a different approach to design, one that involves a single designer and little or no testing. The author condones the use of both strategies but he stresses that each approach is better for a specific level of design. In this chapter, he recalls a lot of points that were made in his earlier writing; therefore relating them as much as possible to show that his earlier work is still very relevant.

I believe something that succeeds as visceral design would be Ed Hardy, a high end clothing company that focuses heavily on the appearance of their product along with comfort which comes with the material used. A product that succeeds as behavioral design would be the Playstation 3 because it has a very simple interface and it is very easy to use. It can also perform a wide ranger of functions, all of which are very useable and understandable. A reflective design that has had success is a very expensive bottle of liquor, which is often very prestigeous and the bottle is usually kept as a display typically because it is made out of very expensive material such as crystal. All of these items are successful because they follow the guidelines mentioned in this chapter to succeed in their specific market.

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