This is a great example of affective design. For the unfamiliar, affective design is the integration of emotional considerations into user experience design. It can go in two directions:
- Using biometrics or facial recognition to model the user’s emotional state and to customize the UX accordingly. For example we know that users who are angry have narrower scope of attention so we can provide more salient cues for peripheral indicators.
- Using design techniques that intentionally induce a particular emotion in a user to evoke a behavior associated with that emotion. For example we can use design patterns that are associated with anger if we want to narrow the user’s attentional scope.
The secret of success, they believe, is not just to devise furnishings that will do what they are told, but to give them personalities, convincing their owners that communication with them is a two-way process