affective design

Exploring Emotional Design

The Emotional Side of Security – Part 1

A recent article on Dark Reading explains how security experts are realizing that internet security is both “a reality and a feeling”… Maybe I’ve been studying usability and the effects of emotions for too long, because this seems so obvious to me that I hadn’t even imagined it wasn’t already being considered.

Experts in the security of physical and internet systems, like Bruce Schneier, are realizing that the emotional, psychological side of security plays as big a part in creating a secure system as the technology itself. From the article:

“The show floor is filled with products that nobody uses. They don’t install, they configure badly, or they don’t actually work,”… The user/human interface aspect of a product is more important than the technology… You can be secure even if you don’t feel that way, or you can feel secure even if you’re not.

It’s reassuring to see that people in some of the more technologically oriented disciplines are catching on to the important role emotions play in decision-making. Failing to consider how psychological and emotional factors affect the way users implement security products means that these products will inevitably fail. Not a happy thought in this new era of global instability.

For more on how emotions affect decision-making, see:
The Emotional Side of Security – Part 2
Unconscious, Emotional Decisions?
2. The Influence of Emotional Affect
1. An Introduction to Emotions

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