Design and emotions

The other day, a group of designers here at Bekk was so lucky to get a super interesting presentation about emotions from a psychologist. The Psychologist was Lars Hære.

2 min read


By Ola Claussen


December 15, 2020

The topic Lars talked about was emotions. I’m not going to repeat everything he presented, but I’m going to give you a super short sum-up of the revelation I got, and a Ted-talk to get your mind spinning 🤯

The 5 basic emotions

First of all, there are 5 basic emotions. And to everybody who has watched Inside out you might remember Joy, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and Anger. The interesting thing that Lars pointed out is that there are four emotions that are “negative”, and only one that's positive, Joy. That's unfair 😫. But evolution and our instinct to survive might have some good reasons why.

The revelation:\ In most services, we are not trying to make people feel joy, but to avoid people to feel any of the other four “negative” emotions! If it doesn’t make you angry, scared, disgusted, or sad, it’s probably a well-designed service 👍

Then to the Ted-talk, what if machines themselves could read these emotions, what opportunities could that make? 🤷‍♂️

Lars presentation was much more exciting than this article, and if you are interested in the topic, I urge you to visit the webpage for the coming book about design and psycology that he is writing togheter with deisgner, Erling Hamsø: https://designogpsykologi.no