This is a reflection on Norman’s piece from Emotion and Design. I’ve read this piece before, however, upon reading this again during a stressful time of the semester, I noticed how much of what Norman wrote about explain my behavior during this period.

I have this need to order the environment around me whenever I am under stress – typically school-related stress (exams, a major project, etc…). Whenever I thought about this habit, I just thought that I need to structure, order, and organize my environment in order to have structured, ordered, and organized thoughts. Norman wrote that “good human-centered design practices are most essential for tasks or situations that are stressful” (p. 40). This piece helped me frame this habit in a new light: I need to design a positive, pleasant, clean, not cluttered, etc… environment that puts me in a positive mood (affect) to help me navigate through my stress and perform my tasks successfully (behaviour). As Norman put it: “negative affect can make some tasks difficult, positive affect can make some difficult tasks easier” (p. 40). I wanted to “impose a design on the environment” around me to put myself in a positive affect to make the difficult tasks I needed to accomplish easier.

I just wanted to reflect on how this reading connected with my personal life. I enjoyed this reading on how we perceive that attractive things work better. As I made my decision to switch from PC to Mac or trying to decide on which phone to upgrade to, this reading seems to support my decision.

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