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What is Emotional Design

Portrait Maximilien Joannides
Maximilien Joannides
4 min read

How Emotional Design can change the way you think about your product as well as your user's outlook. Overview of usability in the service of emotion, how to understand the basics of an aesthetic service or product.

Emotions are an important feature of our thought system, of our way of life. It adds value to what's important, what's least, what's urgent, what's not.

The design of emotion is based on the one hand on the feelings but also on the understanding of the user.

In order to create a pleasant, intuitive experience for the user, we must understand their desires, their abilities, their goals. Professor Alan Dix explains in detail these useful criteria for users.

Usability in design is characterized by:

The performance

Does the product or service meet expectations and objectives, is it responding in the right way


Are the goals achieved with minimum effort, is it easy to use


Is the experience pleasant, does the use give me a feeling of joy

These three points are the fundamentals of usability design. Today, the customer satisfaction aspect with the great trend of "Human Centered Design" is no longer to be demonstrated.

Indeed, studies on design show us that the way in which a product is perceived by users differs according to its aesthetic aspect.

It is established in the literature that if the product or service is attractive, beautiful, its use will be facilitated by the user. This process called aesthetic, comes from the association of beauty with the good functioning of things.

Attractive, beautiful things make people feel good about themselves.

If they feel good, the problem will be easier to solve.

If they feel anxious, stressed, it will be difficult for them to reach the set goal, if they encounter a problem it will be difficult to solve. In Don Norman's “Emotional Design” video

In order to make a product pleasant, attractive, the user must feel emotions, so we must focus on how to deliver a product / Service that meets three satisfaction criteria

These emotions are characterized in 3 parts:


These are the primary emotions that animate us as a living being, which make us react instantly, which are written in our genes. This feeling can be associated with the graphic and visual aspect.


This is about the convenience of using the Service / Product. Its functionalities, the way it is understood, its usefulness. This feeling can be associated with the pleasure of using the product


The way the message will be received by the user, the way the product echoes their own experiences, culture, thinking. This feeling can be associated with personal satisfaction

The objective is therefore to make these 3 criteria of emotions felt in the services and products delivered so that the user can feel a feeling of fullness when using it

A happy user will have fewer problems, make purchases more easily and also share his experience with others.

In order to better understand the expectations of its user and the way to share the best possible feelings during his journey, it is necessary to understand his expectations.

The conceptual model established by Don Norman in his book “Emotional Design” establishes that the image of the expected service or product may differ from the designer's vision from that of the user.

In order to get as close as possible to the same design, it is necessary to spend time with its users. Carrying out usability research on your product allows you to better understand your product, reduce friction and therefore ultimately provide a pleasant experience for its use.

In order to better understand the emotions and habits of your users, come and test our platform, we will provide you with a detailed study of their emotions allowing you to draw conclusions on the points to improve your product service.

See you soon on Odaptos ;)

Ressources :

Don Norman: Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things Design of Everyday Things