Our design process includes working with clients to understand the emotion they want to invoke in the users. For logo design projects, in particular, I ask the client to talk about the adjectives they want people to think of when they’re thinking about their organization. This series of articles by Daniel Eckler discusses the importance of emotion in good design.
The Future of Design is Emotional
In 1950, the American psychologist Harry Harlow conducted an experiment that separated infant monkeys from their mothers just a few hours after birth. Each monkey was isolated in a cage and given two dummy mothers. One mother was constructed of metal wire and held a milk bottle; another was covered in synthetic fur and designed to resemble a real monkey, but it provided no sustenance.
Instinctually, Harlow assumed the infants would gravitate towards the metal mother because it provided a basic need: nourishment.
Much to his surprise, the infants preferred the animate mother despite her lack of milk. In fact, when the two mothers were placed side by side, the infants would suck milk from the metal mother and cling to the more realistic looking dummy.
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