Sex appeal, the '09 Camero, and interactive design

For decades industrial designers have know how to make products desirable and emotional (eg: Kansei Engineering and the sensorial quality assessment method). By infusing basic physiological truths into the design (power, sex, status), you can transform an ordinary utilitarian object into something people crave.

Cars are a great example (like this 2009 Camero… mmmm sexy!). They should be fierce and sensual. Sharp angles and contrast in the front to give the intake and grill a “mouth” or “jaw” like appearance, like a ferocious animal ready to devour its prey. The hood and sides have sleek, streamlined curves. They’re like a 60s pinup girl painted in silver. That’s how you make a car sexy, baby, yea!!!


(430 gas guzzling HP and an exterior that’ll make you drool…American car design at it’s best (or worst?))

But what about interactive design? How do you make a web site sexy… or happy, or glad, sad, or even mad for that matter? How to you make interactive design emotional? Is it purely through the visual treatment? No. Last week I laid claim that the future of design can be found in games. So with that in mind, you can make interactive design emotional through…

Narrative and feedback.

Narrative = using audio, video, characters, and stories, to bring users into world, just as video games like Halo do.

Events and Feedback = letting the users take action, and see the consequence of their actions.

At least, that’s what my take is for today. What about you?

PS. I wonder how many people will read this post solely because of the title =)

PPS. Here are some resources for desirability and emotional design:

Affective Computing @ MIT 

Don Norman’s Emotional Design 

Blog on Neuromarketing