“It is the story, the message, the feelings and connection- it is design.” – Abstract: the art of design

When I came to university our lecturer said to us the first week that in order to create a good design we need to understand other people emotions. I thought to myself why would I need to understand other people emotions to create a good product, in fact, at that point, I was convinced that most of my previous design work was quite good without considering someone else emotions. It did not make any sense to me. Oh well, how was I wrong.

Through the following eight months I have learned that the core of good design connects users’ personality traits, needs, behaviour and having an empathy with the users. And all of those characteristic combines an understanding of their emotions. How much it is this important to consider people emotions I learn through the process of running our startup, where we design small wooden bowties which represent the symbol of gender equality. People are not buying our products because of the product itself, but because of the cause, the cause that is affecting them, the cause that evokes emotions within them. Equaytie bowtie represents a symbol of empowering the young professionals in the workplace and raising awareness of having an equal pay for men are women. 

But in order to create that product and being successful as a start-up, we needed to use our social skills to recognise the problem among our peers and solve it. We would not be able to recognise the problem without understanding the emotions of people around us. What emotions drive them and how were we able to use this in our product is the value that made our bowties wanted in the eyes of our users. 

At the beginning of the year, I did not really understand that I was always too busy thinking only about my own experiences, which was fine but should not always be relying just on that. Now I know and was able to experience through the process of our Equalytie startup, that good design comes from understanding other needs and not only mine. We, as a group would not be able to come up with new ideas if we would only use our past experiences. By observing people around, allowed us to gain a better understanding of people’s emotions. I have learned that it is important to have that ability to understand the drive of other people and more importantly not acknowledge conclusions straight away, instead strive for new possibilities and become comfortable with the unknown. Only with that approach, we were able to deal with challenges around us.

From organisations point of view, design thinking can derive efficient activities, however, it takes specific leadership to see the long viability of the company and understand how to provoke emotions not only in your users but also colleagues.

To conclude, I believe that good design is an evolving procedure of interactions and ability to understand that the answer is not defined as true or false, but the ability to adapt people emotions to a certain environment.

Design with emotions means to have an ability to relate your knowledge with the given context and have a competence to understand the emotional motivation of other people. 

“Their ideas, their inspiration, their art, shape our life. Their world is our world” – Abstract: the art of design

“Design isn’t just about making things beautiful; it’s also about making things work beautifully.” (Martin, p.58)


R. Martin (2009): The design of business, Why design thinking is the next competitive advantage
Design observer
Creativity (Hennessey, Amabile)
Power of Thinking for Yourself