There are a couple of excerpts from Emotional Design that have already caught my attention, and I wanted to share them with you.
The first interesting point is about why attractive things work better. It seems research has revealed that "attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively." This is because people who feel good are able to think about a larger variety of solutions and don't suffer from tunnel vision. They are thus able to more successfully solve problems they encounter with a product.
In today's world of computer-controlled products, doing the same operation over again is very unlikely to yield better results. The correct response is to look for alternative solutions. The tendency to repeat the same operation over again is especially likely for those who are anxious or tense.This makes good sense to me. I immediately think of myself working on a school project. Most of the time I am calm, and I just try various things until I get something - anything - to work. But when I have a deadline and my code won't work and my eyes are tired and sore and I want to scream... that's a whole other story. Definite tunnel vision there, and trying the same thing over. And over. And over.
This except from a few pages later explains the phenomenon further.
Positive affect arouses curiosity, engages creativity, and makes the brain into an effective learning organism. With positive affect, you are more likely to see the forest than the trees, to prefer the big picture and not to concentrate upon details. On the other hand, when you are sad or anxious, feeling negative affect, you are more likely to see the trees before the forest, the details before the big picture.
Video games are one of the illustrative examples discussed later.
The device that used to be specialized for the playing of video games takes on different appearances, depending upon its intended function. ... In the living room, it fits with the furniture and books and becomes a reference manual, perhaps an encyclopedia, tutor, and player of reflective games (such as go, chess, cards, word games). And for the student, it is a source of simulations, experiments, and extensive exploration of interesting, well-motivated topics, but topics carefully chosen so that, in the process of enjoying the adventure, you automatically learn the fundamentals of your field. Designs appropriate to the audience, the location, and the purpose. Everything I have described here is doable. It simply hasn't been done yet.I wonder if I'm the only person to read the above and think just how perfect augmented reality would be for all of this!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to continuing in this book as well as Future Things. In the meantime, I leave you with a video of Don Norman speaking at TED a few years back. It was tweeted, coincidentally, at the same I started the book. Hope it gets you as excited about the topic as it did me!