Lens: Type: Complex Level

A way of thinking or feeling about an activity or design object.

Photo: enginakyurt
woman disgusted looking at apple

If a person’s attitude about a product, service, or system is positive, they will be more likely to use it. If their attitude about an activity like dancing in public is negative, they will likely refuse to dance in public even if others are dancing. When designers create outcomes, they make decisions that affect how those objects function as well as their styling. A person is more likely to use an object that is useful, usable, and desirable than one that is not (Sanders, 1992). Attitude influences behavior. People’s attitudes can change based on emotional and physical factors. The design of an object can affect people’s attitudes about it and what it can do.

Researching Attitude

Learning people’s attitudes about activities and or design outcomes can suggest how likely they will be to use a product, service, or system. A wide range of factors influences attitudes.

Questions to Ask About Attitude

  • Based on their past experience, how does this person feel about the activity?
  • Should the design focus on changing attitudes or changing the design to align with prevailing attitudes?
  • Where are these attitudes coming from?

Look for These When Researching Attitude

  • When people refuse to do something
  • Fans of things—people who wear a brand logo or embrace an activity as part of the core of their personal identity


References and sources that support the inclusion of this Aspects of Experiences for Design component.


Georgiev, G., Yamada, K., & Taura, T. (2017). Dynamics of shifting viewpoints: An investigation into users’ attitudes towards products. Journal Design Research, 15(1), 62-84. doi:10.1504/JDR.2017.10005350

Lupton, E. (2017). Design is Storytelling. New York: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Sanders, E. B.-N. (1992). Converging perspectives: product development research for the 1990s. Design Management Journal, 3(4), 49-54.

Social Sciences

Ajzen, I. (2019). Theory of Planned Behavior with Background Factors. Retrieved December 12, 2019 from

Maio, G. R., & Haddock, G. (2010). The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Wilson, T. D., Reinhard, D. A., Westgate, E. C., Gilbert, D. T., Ellerbeck, N., Hahn, C., . . . Shaked, A. (2014). Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind. Science, 345(6192), 75. doi:10.1126/science.1250830