A mood board is a collection of images, materials or text that is collectively aligned with a specific project or task.
The material within a mood board evokes a defined response in the viewer. Mood boards contain a collection of social and cultural coding that evokes a response at a visceral, behavioural or reflective level.
Mood boards are used by designers to help identify social and cultural references relating to, target user’s lifestyle, persona, product brand, current and past styles and trends. Each board is focused on one particular aspect of a new product development. This may be the target user’s current lifestyle, aspirational lifestyle, a brand or type of product (clothing, watches, domestic lighting).
Mood boards may be used as an ‘aide memoir’ for reference during design decision-making and as part of an audit trial within a design document.
As a designer, you use your past experience to select materials that you feel are associated with the topic of the mood board.
You select materials, order and prioritise them to present them in a meaningful communication, using presentation board techniques.
A mood board may be a physical or a digital presentation.
Mood boards are an accessible way of presenting market research information, relating to individual and social trends, product analysis and brand analysis.
Baker, S., 2004. Colour and emotion in design, (in) Design and Emotion: experience of everyday things, (eds) McDonagh, D., Hekert,P., van Erp, J, Gyi, D., Taylor & Francis, London. p170-174.
Bruseberg, A., McDonagh, D., Wormald, P., 2004. Communicating product experience, (in) Design and Emotion: experience of everyday things, (eds) McDonagh, D., Hekert,P., van Erp, J, Gyi, D., Taylor & Francis, London. p114-118.
Lidwell, W., Holden, K., Butler, J., 2003. Universal principles of design: 100 ways to enhance usability, influence perception, increase appeal, make better design decisions, and teach through design, Rockport, Gloucester. Pruitt, J., Adlin T., 2006. The persona lifecycle: keeping people in mind throughout product design, Elsevier, San Francisco. p379.