I also read Donald A. Norman’s Emotional Design: Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things and was struck by how much the design of modern products has changed from when the book was published in 2005.
Like the other commenters & reviewers noted, the book was published right before the launch of the iPhone, which could arguably be considered the biggest influence of product design this decade (or longer). Since the iPhone and iPad launched, a new language, gestures, has been introduced into the common lexicon. Certainly gesture based interfaces existed in the past, but these devices made ‘sheet of glass’ interaction commonplace.
You see swipe gestures in commercials (Geico) and pinch to zoom on nearly every type of touch device. I would be curious to know the author’s feelings on the proliferation of these interfaces, as he was concerned about the lack of touch feedback provided by sheet of glass interfaces.
Another design example I found interesting was about amusement park rides. The rides are designed to provide a viscerally exciting experience (thrilling, high-speed) but must still provide elements that are reflectively relevant (safety systems, cleanliness). This made me think of the attraction Mission Space, where the designers had difficulity finding a medium between these two elements.
Many rides & attractions give the rider a visual cue for what they are going to experience, be it a big drop or a spinning elephant. In the case of Mission Space,the ride is contained in a large room that isn’t visible to people entering the attraction. Inside is essentially a centrifuge where you experience high g-forces similar to the launch of a space shuttle. Because the ride system and concept was completely new, and because riders couldn’t see the motion of the ride, there wasn’t any good way to judge the intensity of the experience. After a number of unfortunate incidents where riders were injured or died who were not healthy enough to experience the attraction, the pre-show and entrance had to be redesigned to better represent the intensity of the experience.
Can anyone think of any other experiences that exhibit a similar imbalance?