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How to Design for Emotions: Experiences in a Course

Erdem Demir , Pieter Desmet , De?er Ă–zkaramanl?

The appraisal approach has been demonstrated to be useful for designing with the intention of eliciting/preventing specific emotions, i.e. designing for emotions (DfE). This approach involves four main steps (1) specifying the design theme (the activity to design for, the target group, and the emotional intention), (2) identifying concerns of the target group, (3) generating a product profile that matches those concerns, and (4) designing a product conforming to the product profile. Although informative, these steps are described only in a general way. This article focuses on the specifics of the challenges that designers can encounter when following the steps in their design attempts. To identify the challenges, we referred to a DfE project that was conducted by 16 master level industrial design engineering students in Delft University of Technology. The aim of the project was to design interventions that elicit joy/happiness in the context of having dinner. Through our observations during the course, analysis of the students? project reports, and two focus group sessions that were conducted upon the completion of the project, we identified six key challenges involved in this approach. In the paper, those challenges are presented and the ways to overcome these challenges are proposed.


Design for emotions, appraisal, concern, life goals.