A well-designed environment has the potential to shape or reshape people’s attitudes about any given topic, quickly.

Design is perceived intuitively and encourages us to form attitudes, notions, and even decisions quickly. Consider your cell phone. There’s a good chance you chose it because of the way it works and what it enables you to do. But, there's also a good chance that its physical appearance influenced your decision to purchase it, too. Consider the way that the design of your cell phone makes you feel, and how that influences your perception of the company that produced it. It's this invisible influence that makes design so powerful, and environment design can be as profoundly influential as product design, when it comes to the way that people behave in response to it. In 2004, Don Norman, arguably the foremost author and educator of human-centered design, expounded on his 1988 foundational book The Design of Everyday Things,with Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, demonstrating how design makes us feel and affects our behavior. According to Norman, design shapes our attitudes and plays an important role in our decisions to purchase, repurchase, visit, and return, though we might not always realize it.


Norman, D.  (2004).  Emotional Design:  Why We Love (Or Hate) Everyday Things. Basic Books:  New York.