In 2002, I defended my dissertation “designing emotions.” The thesis (235 pages), in which five years of research is reported and discussed, should appeal designers and researchers who are interested in the emotional responses evoked by products. I discuss what an emotion is, how products evoke emotions, an how these emotions can be measured and ‘designed for.’

P.M.A. Desmet (2002)
Designing Emotions
ISBN: 90-9015877-4

This book is about emotions – emotions elicited by products. It is about our sometimes-irrational desire to buy a product for which we honestly have no use. It is about being inspired by a stunning new car model, and about being bored with yet another (similar) mobile telephone. It is also about the melancholy evoked by the toys we played with as children, and about the contempt (or admiration) we may feel towards our neighbour’s doll collection. Questions addressed in this book are: ‘How do products elicit emotions?’ and ‘How can designers influence these emotions?’ Readers will discover that there are only a few, rudimentary, one-to-one relationships between a product’s appearance and the emotions it elicits. However, they will also find that these emotions can be measured, and that there are general patterns in how products elicit emotions.



Review by Donald Norman 
Norman, D.A. (2003) Designing Emotions Pieter Desmet
The Design Journal, 6(2), 60-62.

Dissertation summary