Affective design

The notion of affective design emerged from the field of human–computer interaction (HCI)[1] and more specifically from the developing area of affective computing.[2] Affective design involves designing interfaces to enable human-computer interactions where emotional information is communicated by the user in a natural and comfortable way - the computer processes the emotional information and may adapt or respond to try to improve the interaction in some way.[2]


Affective computing aims to deliver affective interfaces[2] capable of eliciting certain emotional experiences from users.[3] Similarly, affective design attempts to define the subjective emotional relationships between consumers and products and to explore the affective properties that products intend to communicate through their physical attributes.[4] It aims to deliver artefacts capable of eliciting maximum physio-psychological pleasure consumers may obtain through all of their senses.


  1. Norman, D. A. (1986). Design principles for human-computer interfaces. In D. E. Berger, K. Pezdek, & W. P. Banks (Eds.). Applications of cognitive psychology: Problem solving, education, and computing. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  2. 1 2 3 Reynolds, C. and Picard, R. (2001) Designing for Affective Interactions. In Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 5–10 August 2001, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. [online], available:
  3. McCarthy, J. and Wright, P. (2004). What is enjoyment doing to HCI? In ECCE'12: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Cognitive. European Association of Cognitive Ergonomics, Le Chesney, France. pp. 11–12
  4. Carliner, S. (2000) "Physical, Cognitive, and Affective: A Three-Part Framework for Information Design” [online], available: [accessed 10 January 2007]

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