TED Talks: Don Norman on 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy

by mo on Saturday, April 9, 2011

I love this talk – the bottom line is that design should make you "happy" – that is "happy" in all three ways which Norman points out. It should be beautiful to look at, it should be responsive, and it should be functional. Seemingly simple, but as designers who sometimes fall into the trap of being too entrenched in our own agenda, we forget about the fact that a successful design must fulfil all three points.

"But, beneath it is a wonderful knife. It's a Global cutting knife made in Japan. First of all, look at the shape, it's just wonderful to look at. Second of all, it's really beautiful balanced it holds -- feels well. And third of all, it's so sharp, it just cuts. It's a delight to use. And so, it's got everything, right? It's beautiful and it's functional. And I can tell you stories about it, which makes it reflective, and so you'll see I have a theory of emotion. And those are the three components."

When all three aspects are fulfilled, the design successfully "talks" to the user - and in this communication, Norman likens this transmission to be similar to that of human emotions. This is particularly interesting because it links back to Hara's idea of "designing for the sense" as well as the pieces that herald the relationship between design/art and science.

Don Norman on 3 Ways Good Design Makes You Happy, 2009, online video, accessed 6 April 2011, <http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/don_norman_on_design_and_emotion.html>.

Print this post

Leave your comment