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Emotional Design for the Blind users: Application of Tactile and Auditory Semiotics in Product Design

Nazanin Oveisy , Bijan Aryana

As products features and functions and user’s conceptions of them could be a part of each product’s beauty, aesthetics in product design is not limited to the appearance of a product. Users feel beauty with all of their five senses, so sight is not the only tool for understanding the aesthetics, but a part of each user’s emotional ability.

To develop a new product design paradigm for sensitive-disabled users, in the first phase of this research both physical requirements and emotional needs of a blind user (as a certain) group has been studied.

In a product design project as an experimental phase of the study, defining the non-visual signs and symbols for usage scenarios, helped the design team to create an emotional but non-visual design for a product which was designed for blind users, who use their touch sense as the main tool for understanding and interacting with products. A physical model of final design (the laptop for the blind) was evaluated by the user group and achieved attention and successes in various national and international exhibitions.

The results of experimental phase led to a discussion about a holistic and extendable paradigm for bringing emotion into products which are designed for sensitive-disabled users, especially blind users. The study shows that how an emotional dialogue between disabled users and products could exist without depending on visual signs and symbols.


emotional design, Semiotics, Design for Disability, Consumer Electronics Design