D&T Special Edition #3

The Anatomy of Emotional Design

Hi there!
This is the third edition of D&T Special, a more in-depth view of topics that interest the Canvs team. Today’s topic – designing effectively to bring out the right emotions in users. We hope you enjoy this read.

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✍️ From the Canvs Research & Editorial Desk

Emotion and design have always had a keen link to each other, what we will delve into today observes the two in a rigorous, academic light.

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Research titled “Emotional Design; Application of a Research-Based Design Approach” done at the Delft University in the Netherlands has understood emotion in design from the lens of the rather loosely termed wow-index,’ which in a more product design-centric view could be considered ‘delight’ in design.

This week the Canvs R&E team has spent some time pondering this concept, let’s dive into some details.

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Emotional design is something that in effect creates a ‘wow-impact’ (that’s not us, that’s the research speaking,) that has been observed to create greater feelings of pleasure and trust amongst users as opposed to products where emotions aren’t equally well invoked.

Emotions can be a tricky thing, so to make things easier to understand, positive emotions or emotions of ‘delight’ are what we will be primarily dealing with in this piece. Additionally, we will see the largely linear (almost mechanically so) motion in which the mind can be nudged in order to feel delighted via design.

The Dutch research team parses emotion (via design) into three primary pillars:

1. Basic Features

Basic features are the foundation of the product and lay the groundwork; without them, the product can be rendered ineffective. Users expect these features to be delivered (such as a car’s turn signal). This means they must be included. And, if they don’t deliver to the user’s expectations, then they may lead to dissatisfaction. For instance, for a mobile phone, the primary facility would be a database to store phone numbers and be able to call.

2. Performance Features

Performance features are those that help differentiate between competing products. For example, mobile phones’ performance features would include weight, screen size, stand-by time, processing speed and more.

3. Excitement Features

Excitement features are those the user did not expect to see in the product and is excited to experience. These are additional features to the basic ones. Continuing on the mobile phone example, GPS systems or high-resolution video cameras can be exciting features of mobile phones.

Another way to look at an Excitement Feature (considering not everything evokes excitement) would be through the perspective of motivation. Nothing more practically brings about delight more than an endowed sense of progress.

A linear culmination of these three almost certainly is going to bring about the positive emotion or delight that you’re looking for as a designer, product manager or product owner.

📖 From the Canvs Reading List

Pertinent reads from design and technology this week

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Crypto loans – particularly those in decentralized-finance apps that dispense with intermediaries like banks – often require borrowers to put up more collateral than the loan is worth.

Receiving signals from extraterrestrial civilizations could pose an existential risk. Really.

Twitter seeks judicial review of Indian orders to take down content -source says directly to Reuters.

From cryptocurrency thefts to intrusions into telecom giants, state-backed attackers have had a field day in the year’s first half.

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Apple’s design team is legendary. But following the death of Steve Jobs, dysfunction ran rampant, as Tripp Mickle writes in the new book ‘After Steve.’

Bat friends, monkeys sharing, and humans holding hands: the brains of social animals synchronise and expand one another.

They’re talking about sex, founding their own companies, auditioning for roles, and generally stirring things up.

Some highlights from the past month of D&T

And that’s the lot! Thanks for checking out what we had to share with you this week, we shall catch up with you next Wednesday. Incase you aren’t subscribed to the newsletter, you could subscribe here.

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