This weeks reading “Emotional Design” by Donald Norman discusses why attractive things work better, the three levels of processing, and focus versus creativity. Donald Norman explains that simply put, things that look good make us feel good. When a product is more attractive than the next, we tend to want that attractive product over any other less attractive product. Donald Norman then goes on to explain the differences between the visceral, behavioral, and reflective levels of the brain. The visceral level of the brain is where stress versus relaxation occurs. Quick judgments are made here and can be the determining factor in survival when approached with a threat. The behavioral level is where actions are taken. The third and final level is the reflective level that is where we are able to think about what we are doing, think about past events, or anything for that matter. Both the behavioral level and reflective level are completely separate. Donald Norman explains this why individuals are able to drive (behavior) while thinking of other things in the moment (reflective).


What I found to be most interesting about this weeks reading is how focus and creativity are affected by emotions. Donald Norman explains that when an individual is relaxed, they will be more able to create and think “out of the box”. When someone is more stressed out, they are better able to focus. This does not include when someone is too stressed or anxious. Being too stressed or anxious can result in what Donald Norman describes as tunnel vision. I find this to be interesting because I am a guitar player and lately, have focused on writing primarily when I am feeling stressed. I use my guitar as a way to de-stress and relax. Because I now have new knowledge on the subject, I am going to make an effort to begin writing when I am already feeling relaxed in hopes that I will feel more creative in my writing process.


Norman, D. (n.d.). Emotional design. Retrieved from