Emotions – A Key Factor in Design
The aim of this article is to call attention to two seldom raised issues. Firstly, design in practice boils down to creating experiences which allow the designer to achieve the desired effect. It is a fact that the experience, and thus, the user’s subjective feelings, is decisive in making the design effective. Moreover, we cannot speak of the user’s experience without taking into account emotional processes, which are closely linked to man’s behavior and determine the quality of communication. This is true regardless of our field of design. Services, objects, and visual communication generate emotion, whether we wish them to or not, and these determine the attitude, behavior, or awareness of the user. Discussions on design cannot omit the issue of emotions in the user process, as these are an inseparable part of everyday decision-making, a key factor affecting human behavior. It is surprising that design devotes so little attention to emotion, which is so vital to functionality; it is marginalized, particularly with regard to visual communication. Furthermore, the isolating of increasingly specialized design disciplines has been underway for several years, a process which has not, despite appearances, meant a higher quality of work. This situation is probably a result of omitting psychological processes (including emotions) in design problem-solving. This article is a summation of my own design experiences, and an overview of existing materials, mainly in psychology and sociology. It also cites correspondence with specialists in user experience (UX) and initial results of the author’s interdisciplinary research on the role of emotion in design. In addition, attempts have been made to transpose knowledge of the role of emotion for visual communication in product design.