Happy is Up, Sad is Down

65 Metaphors for Design



ISBN: 9789063695934 Category:

Jörn Hurtienne, Diana Löffler, Clara Hüsch, Daniel Reinhardt, Stephan Huber


We think, feel, and talk in metaphors.

Why not use them for design?
Feeling down? Cheer up! We use metaphors every day and often without being aware of it. Many metaphors are more than figures of speech. They reflect basic bodily experiences and help to structure our thinking and experiences of the world.

Happy is Up, Sad is Down is a collection of 65 metaphors with research facts and applications in product and interaction design, information graphics, and advertising.
Metaphors show how to use space and physical attributes to convey abstract concepts like time and importance, emotions and social relations, political ideas and ethical values. This book is meant to inspire designers and everyone curious about how the mind works.

Additional information

Weight 580 g
Dimensions 15.9 x 16.7 cm
Publisher name BIS Publishers
Publication date 8 February 2021
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.9 x 16.7 cm
Weight 580 g

Jörn Hurtienne, Diana Löffler, Clara Hüsch, Daniel Reinhardt, Robert Tscharn, and Stephan Huber are a team of psychologists, designers, computer scientists, business consultants, and researchers who came together at the Chair of Psychological Ergonomics at Würzburg University.

Jörn discovered his love for metaphors in 2004, drew others into this and they have been studying their usefulness for design ever since. They have successfully used metaphors in the design of automotive user interfaces, websites, medical systems, robots, industrial controls, consumer goods, and augmented reality systems.

Jörn Hurtienne, university professor and chair holder in Psychological Ergonomics at Würzburg University (Germany) since 2011. Previous positions include research associate and Marie-Curie fellow in engineering design at the University of Cambridge (UK), research associate at Technische Universität (TU) Berlin and usability consultant at the bao GmbH in Berlin. He is a trained psychologist with a PhD in engineering (2009, TU Berlin). He is author of more than 130 papers on designing for intuitive interaction, usability and user experience.

Diana Löffler is a senior researcher interested in designing 'good' Human-Machine Interaction. She holds a diploma in Psychology and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction. Her work has been internationally published in top tier conferences and is applied in industry projects in her German-based User Experience consultancy fuenfpunktnull.

Clara Hüsch is a freelance graphic designer, based in Nuremberg with focus on information graphics, corporate design and illustration. She works mainly for public institutions, NGOs and the sector of sustainability. She studied Communication Design in Aachen, Information Design in Würzburg and Eco-Social Design in Bozen.

Daniel Reinhardt is a computer scientist who specialises in Human-Computer Interaction. He conducts research in human factors in health care, persuasive technology and measuring intuitive interactions. He currently works at Würzburg University.

Stephan Huber is a researcher in Human-Computer-Interaction. He has been working at the University of Würzburg and University of Queensland in Brisbane (Australia). Strong interest in the user experience of working in safety-critical domains. He has been working on products that are intuitive to use and inclusive for users with special needs.

Robert Tscharn is a management consultant and former researcher. He worked at the University of Würzburg and Detecon International GmbH and is a founding member of the UX agency fuenfpunkntull GmbH. He has a strong background in psychology and computer science and worked on innovative yet intuitive-to-use human-technology interaction. He holds a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction.