In the article Emotion and Design, Norman highlights the importance of balance between usefulness and beauty in design.
For the argument of beauty, what is emphasized is the fact that it is not only “nice” to have pretty things, but we are actually more inspired and perhaps learn more when we use things that are attractive to us. We want to include them into our lives because of the fact that they enhance the aesthetic quality of out lives. On the other hand, if things that we surround ourselves with things that have no real use, well, then they are pretty much useless; so just as important is an object’s usefulness.
Sometimes we weigh out the priorities of what we are trying to accomplish in object land. There are things we own that might be similar in function but sometimes one is prettier than the other, but is less pragmatic, so perhaps on a special occasion we will use it just to display the object’s beauty, but on an everyday level we would prefer to use something that is not as pretty, but definitely accomplishes its task more efficiently.
With that said, the balance between beauty and efficiency is the real challenge when designing something.
Sometimes design mocks efficiency and is designed with a complete lack of efficiency. He displays his tea pot collection to bring us through the differences in design, and what details are perhaps exaggerated to mock the lack of efficiency.