“If interaction design really is the business of behaviour change I believe this must apply two ways. While itâ€™s true that design can influence users and engender cultural change, this is always a product of our more tangible work: changing the behaviour of technology. As a user-centred designer of technology my goal is simple: to make its behaviour humane. But how should I approach this?
Humanity implies emotion and, beneath that, personality. These areas lie beyond the frontiers of classical HCI and usability. Fortunately, as often happens, we view the distant summit and see others have already planted the flag. Toymakers, for instance, have explored the art of bestowing personality on products for years. The results are fairly crude, but I defy anyone to watch the torture of a Pleo and successfully suppress a twinge of guilt. Even in its moments of crisis, Pleo has a distinct personality; that is to say, it conveys emotional information.”
Cennydd Bowles, a user experience designer at Clearleft in Brighton, England, writes about interaction design, behavioural change, and the design of emotions.