Understanding HCI


What is A Moodboard?

A moodboard is a collage of materials (images, text, colours, textures, website screen shots, etc) which captures the ambience or feel of a place or design. Widely used in interior design and advertising.

Why Use it

  1. Widely used in interior design/advertising
  2. Gather together visual stimuli that capture the essence of the design
  3. Photos, other images, textures, shapes, quotes…
  4. Inspiration not specification
  5. Can also be generated by clients or users
  6. Useful in developing team vision
  7. Easy to communicate with clients via visual stimuli

Participants Needed

The designer may complete this method on their own, in collaboration with other designers or with the client. Alternatively, the client may undertake this exercise on their own to create what they would like the feel of the final product to be.

Task List

  • Collect (or have the client collect) a range of materials which will inspire the design of the finished piece of work.
  • Arrange them on a large board using removable sticky tape or blu-tack.
  • Remove any elements which do not suit the rest of the scheme.
  • Refer back to the mood board during the product lifecycle for design inspiration.

Conditions required

  1. A range of materials such as textures, printouts, magazine cutouts, photographs, paint palettes
  2. sticky tape or blu-tack
  3. large A3/A2 mounting board
  4. Is also possible to create a digital moodboard - but this can feel too removed ir intangible for some people


  1. Design mood-boards
  2. MoodBoards spark Innovation + Inspiration in creative teams
  3. Mood Boards for Season Autumn/Winter 05/06
  4. Visually kick-starting the brain
  5. fashion spot Mood Boards
  6. papillon bleu Mood boards

Limitations Of method

  1. Can be time consuming.
  2. Some people feel that it's too much fun to be called work.

Exercise 1

Use digital media, the internet and photoshop to create a digital moodboard for one of the following concepts:

  1. soft
  2. air
  3. cold
  4. sticky
  5. sensual
  6. parched
  7. love
  8. slow
  9. death
  10. technology
  11. science
  12. history
  13. drama
  14. clean

Exercise 2

You are commissioned to design an interactive guide for a national science museum. For next week

  1. Collect some images and textures which might capture the ‘mood’ of the design
  2. What colours would suit this theme? Using Photoshop or any image editing program, select a colour palette of 10 shades from the above materials.