Tag Archives: visceral

Boxes for the mind

10 Jan

Without a map, a compass is useless. Thinking out of the box still requires a box to start with – without a box, where does thinking beyond go? All good ideas will float around in utilitarian nothingness without the good ol’ box. Sometimes, having boxes allow us to make better decisions…


Frameworks for those brain-works

Sometimes creative people are adverse to having frameworks. If thinking out of the box is needed, why do we bother with frameworks (aka boxes) in the creative process? This is where I feel the whole creativity thing is so over-sold and misunderstood.

I guess at the onset, divergent/creative thinking is needed to explore options and to go beyond the box, and to generate lots of ideas. Then with many ideas floating around, how then can we act? This is where we get caught in an “either/or” situation between thinking divergently/creatively and being rational/convergent. But this is a false division of the situation. We can think both divergently and convergently, but at different stages of the project. Particularly when it comes to the time for decision-making, we need to find convergence on all the ideas and cut out the superfluous.

Donald Norman’s book Emotional Design, proposes a useful way of assessing the different levels of appeal/engagement a product has on the consumer. He says there are three levels: 1) Visceral, 2) Behavioural, 3) Reflective. This is also similar to the three levels of head, heart and gut framework by Joel Desgrippes and Marc Gobé for brand engagement. In a nutshell, “head/reflective” level refers to the rational attributes, the “heart/behavioural” level points to the social/physical interactions (how things work) between the customer and the product/brand, and the “gut/visceral” level points to the intuitive impact and stimulation delivered.

These frameworks help me in deciding which one of the ideas to develop further. When I try to locate the bags in the Venn diagram, it becomes more telling – the Green Bag appeals to the head in particular, while the High Street Bag draws people mainly through gut appeal. The Book Bag seems to have more of a balance of the 3 levels. Granted, this is totally unscientific, but you get the rough idea (it’ll be awfully boring to read through numbers, wouldn’t it?!).

Conclusion? The Book Bag shall be the bag of choice!


The head, heart & gut of the Book Bag

Head – rational attributes, “liking the idea of it”
The Book Bag reminds one of a book and about reading, which ‘implicates’ NLB and its mission through such reminiscences in the library users’ and public’s mind. Book-lovers especially will like the idea of walking around with ‘open books’ in their hands, always looking like they are in the middle of reading, living and carrying out daily activities while in the midst of reading.

Heart – interaction-based, “how it works”
With readers already handling and borrowing books at the library, having to handle an extra ‘book’ would offer the least resistance in terms of having to learn and adopt new behaviour. Ultra low-cost RFID tags allow the Book Bag to be borrowed as a ‘book’ while being economically viable, and also fulfilling the criteria of encouraging return since the Book Bag will have to be borrowed as part pf the user’s loan quota! The functional convenience the Book Bag offers for library users who didn’t bring bags along would be appealing to the heart. Above all, the Book Bag ‘becomes’ a bag only when book-carrying is needed in between the home and library, and at other times becomes a book worthy of being keep together with the other borrowed books (i.e. not having to hunt for it at home for return), hence situating itself as a natural part of the reader’s journey and physical environment.

Gut – visual/emotional stimulation, “I love how slick it looks”
Learning from the interactive design shared on my previous post on creative shopping bags, incorporating some element of ‘clever’, interactive design would draw curious attention (visceral appeal) from the public eye, and hopefully create a kind of brand buzz.


Next…… quick design and prototyping, in order to fail quickly and learn even faster!