Nicole Lazzro, founder of XEODesign, was interviewed by Robert Scoble at iPhoneDevCamp (via David Temkin). She talks about the stroking, bushing and scaling gestures that are part of the iPhone interface as “loving, tender, friendship gestures” instead of poking which is a more aggressive motion that we typically use for interacting with computers and devices. Elements in the design of the iPhone cause specific emotional reactions. XEODesign did a survey of how people described the iPhone and they used words like wonder, curiosity and magic.
Lazzro describes the iPhone as not just easier to use, but that there is “less between me and what I desire,” citing the example of sharing, one of many iPhone interactions that seem to have been designed around well thought out use cases. At XEODesign, they catalog and measure emotional reactions when they do usability studies. She notes that f you watch people use technology you can track their emotional reaction to it. In games and interactive technology, you see emtions that happen in sequence. In the iPhone, curiosity leads to surprise leads to wonder.
Lazzro suggests that naming and describing various emotional responses can help inspire design, and you can plan when you want to evoke surprise, amusement, or “easy fun.” In several cases she has borrowed words from other languages, since there are a number of emotions that we don’t have a word for in English, such as “fiero,” which she translates as the feeling of “yes!” when you just won the Grand Prix. She points out that this is not just “eye-candy”; it’s adding emotion to the design.