Design for Emotion


  • Trevor van Gorp, BFA, ME Des, IAI, Principal, Affective Design, Inc., Canada
  • Edie Adams, Principal User Experience Manager, Mac Business Unit, Microsoft

Design for Emotion introduces you to the why, what, when, where and how of designing for emotion. Improve user connection, satisfaction and loyalty by incorporating emotion and personality into your design process. The conscious and unconscious origins of emotions are explained, while real-world examples show how the design you create affects the emotions of your users.


This isn’t just another design theory book - it’s imminently practical. Design for Emotion introduces the A.C.T. Model (Attract/Converse/Transact) a tool for helping designers create designs that intentionally trigger emotional responses. This book offers a way to harness emotions for improving the design of products, interfaces and applications while also enhancing learning and information processing. Design for Emotion will help your designs grab attention and communicate your message more powerfully, to more people.

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Professionals in interactive design, info architecture as well as industrial and product design, graphic design, and marketing professionals


Book information

  • Published: June 2012
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-386531-1


"Like good journalists, the authors produce chapters that seek to answer why, what, when, where, and how one designs for emotion…This results in a nicely produced package of theory and practice… Both novices and experts need to read this book. I highly recommend it…", April 23, 2013
"Intended for creative professionals, Van Gorp and Adams have teamed up to present a practical guide for creating effective designs that succeed in emotion and personality to appeal to consumer's needs."--Reference and Research Book News, December 2012

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Why Design for Emotion?
Useful, Usable and Desirable
Emotion, Personality and Meaning

Chapter 2 - What is Emotion?
Understanding Emotion
The Anatomy and Influence of Emotion

Chapter 3 - Why Design for Emotion?
Measuring Success Through Flow
Attention and Flow
The Senses and Attention
Emotion, Attention and Behavior
Emotion and Flow

Chapter 4 - Where Do We Design for Emotion?
Product Personalities
Aesthetics and Interaction
Responses, Experiences and Relationships
Personality Traits and Design
Gender and Stereotypes
The Evolution of Emotion and Personality

Chapter 5 - How Do I Design for Emotion?
Designing Relationships
Cutting Through the Jargon
The A.C.T. Model
Using the A.C.T. Model
Understanding the Dimensions of Emotion
What Personality Do I Design?
A.C.T. - Guidelines

Chapter 6 - Interviews on Designing Emotion