Emotional Design

I came across an interesting article from the Focus Labs blog: http://focuslabllc.com/blog/the-ui-ux-endorphin-theory.

I always enjoy articles that focus on the psychology of user-centered design, because they always challenge me to reflect on my own design practices.  In the article, Sam Stratton talks about the emotional component of interactions being a catalyst to desire to produce things of value.  To me, this seems to ring true with what I know of interaction design.  There is a strong internal desire you’re tapping into: the need to feel wanted, and investing time into producing something valuable ideally gives a strong positive feedback: the approval of your peers.

I’d like to hear your thoughts.  Is a positive feedback mechanism for an emotionally-based interaction something that requires a response from a person to provide appropriate closure, can the interface giving the equivalent of a “Great job!” be sufficient, or is there still another way to keep the feedback loop going strong?



4 thoughts on “Emotional Design

  1. In my opinion, these things applied the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs from Theory of Human Motivation. The feedback could be from any sources, human or system. However, the feedback should depend on the state of the user, level of the user in the pyramid.

    If the user feels unsafe, the feedback should help them to feel safe. If the user needs love, the feedback should be anything to make them feel warm or be loved. If your user is in the higher level than your type of feedback, it would be useless.

    So your feedback should be specifically designed for your target group to be success.

  2. Another concept we talk about in the Communication world is Goffman’s notion of “face”. People like to save face and put on good face. This notion was picked up by Brown and Levinson in their “Politeness Theory” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politeness_theory).
    In short, there is positive face and negative face threats. One is if people like you, and the other is if your respect is maintained. I’d never considered marrying these concepts with human-computer interaction and design, but I suppose the face motivations would hold true for humans in these situations, as well.
    Feedback, in this sense, should both be given in a way that the person feels “loved and respected” … how this looks like from a system … I’ll have to think more about that one! =)

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