When we talk about emotional design, we’re talking about how a product’s design or an interaction affects the user. In the case of digital design, it’s a moment-by-moment effect on the user — “in the flow” — and operates on three levels in the brain: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. There is a delay between these levels: first, it’s visceral; second, it’s behavioral, and lastly; reflective. The experience actually moves from the limbic system (“visceral” brain) to the neocortex (analytical) to the mid-brain (emotion). But more about this later.
In order to create a successful product, a design needs to work extremely well on the three levels described earlier: visceral, behavioral, and reflective. (Huge nod here to Don Norman’s seminal book on emotional design.)
It’s no longer enough to say: “We are bringing a software driven product together that will push the boundaries of technology and be functional and useful to people.” As technology levels the playing field, almost anyone can bring together a team and technology to create functional and feature-rich everyday consumer products.