Emotional Design with A.C.T
Trevor Van Gorp, Affective Design Inc.
Session Type: Presentation
As user experience professionals, we strive to provide our clients and
users with products that are useful, usable and pleasurable. Because these
criteria encompass a broad range of human experience, from the conscious
and practical (i.e. useful) to the interactive and social (i.e. usable)
and the sensory and unconscious (i.e. pleasurable), this is no small task.
It means that along with creating experiences that fulfill clients’
business needs and the needs of users, it’s also necessary to understand
the emotional and psychological frameworks for users’ sensory, social and
Understanding these frameworks is no small feat. If you’ve been attempting
to incorporate emotional or affective design principles into your design
or UX practice, you’ve likely encountered a number of different models,
processes and methodologies. Each one describes the practice in its own
jargon, with its own rules and from its own perspective. Practitioners are
often left wondering, “where do I start?”
Most of these models are descriptive rather than prescriptive. They
provide a foundation for understanding emotional design by describing
aspects of the design and/or experience process from a particular
perspective, but don’t prescriptively guide designers as to HOW to create
rewarding social and emotional experiences for users.
UX professionals understand that intuitive labeling can make or break the
usability of a design. But what about the language in a design model?
Leveraging the power of prescriptive and usable language, the A.C.T. model
is a meta-model that helps guide designers in creating rewarding social
and emotional experiences.
A.C.T. stands for Attract, Converse, Transact. The simplicity of the
language used for the stages in this model makes it much easier for
designers to communicate their rationale to business stakeholders.
Learn what features of a design unconsciously attract the attention of
Learn how human social rules apply when people react with objects and
Learn what makes your users decide to complete transactions with your
Session attendees will gain insight into applying emotional and affective
design principles by exploring how to address each stage of the A.C.T.
model through a number of examples.
Trevor van Gorp is the founder and principal of Affective Design Inc., an independent user experience consultancy. Formerly a consultant at nForm User Experience, a leading Canadian user experience firm, he has been working in design and visual communication since 1994.
Trevor is involved in user research, usability testing, information architecture, interaction design, prototyping and visual design. His design process includes insights drawn from the disciplines of art, graphic design, industrial design, ergonomics, human factors and cognitive psychology, helping clients to realize their business goals while enhancing the user’s experience. Trevor holds a BFA in Graphic Design and a Master’s of Environmental Design in Industrial Design.