Product design, semantics and emotional response

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Demirbilek O., ŞENER PEDGLEY B.

ERGONOMICS, vol.46, pp.1346-1360, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00140130310001610874
  • Journal Name: ERGONOMICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1346-1360
  • Keywords: emotional products, happiness in design, emotional content of design
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This paper explores theoretical issues in ergonomics related to semantics and the emotional content of design. The aim is to find answers to the following questions: how to design products triggering 'happiness' in one's mind; which product attributes help in the communication of positive emotions; and finally, how to evoke such emotions through a product. In other words, this is an investigation of the 'meaning' that could be designed into a product in order to 'communicate' with the user at an emotional level. A literature survey of recent design trends, based on selected examples of product designs and semantic applications to design, including the results of recent design awards, was carried out in order to determine the common attributes of their design language. A review of Good Design Award winning products that are said to convey and/or evoke emotions in the users has been done in order to de. ne good design criteria. These criteria have been discussed in relation to user emotional responses and a selection of these has been given as examples.