In a Newsweek article May 18, 1998: Chief Design Officer at Apple, Jony Ive talks about how to translate emotion into design:
“The iMac revolved not around chip speed or market share but squishy questions like
‘How do we want people to feel about it?’
‘What part of our minds should it occupy?’”
When Ive’s team was brainstorming the iMac,
the feelings they wanted to evoke were “intuitive” and “approachable.”
That’s why they gave it a handle on top.
The handle wasn’t for picking the computer up (although it could be used for that). It was a visual cue to the user that they could touch the computer.
The handle gave them “permission” to put their hands on it.
And that made the machine much less intimidating and precious.”
As airy-fairy as that may sound, consider another example from Mark Zuckerberg.
One of the best things Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook was to focus heavily on photos.
Many people don’t know this but Mark’s major in college was psychology, not computer science.
His understanding of how the greatest interest of a human in a community is other people, gave him an unparalleled advantage.
This insight was baked into Facebook’s product development in ways that most users can’t recognize.