Brand engagement

Add the positive associations the subjects had with Coca Cola – its history, logo, color, design, and fragrance; their own childhood memories of Coke, Coke’s TV and print ads over the years, the sheer, inarguable, inexorable, ineluctable, emotional Coke-ness of the brand – neat back their rational, natural preference for the taste of Pepsi. Why? Because emotions are the way in which our brains encode things of value, and a brand that engages us emotionally -think Apple, Harley-Davidson, and L’Oreal, just for starters- will win every single time.

Martin Lindstrom: Buyology p.26/27

Mirror neurons

(…) what Rizzolatti would eventually dub ‘mirror neurons’ (…) – neurons that fire when an action [= not random movements but activities that involve an object] is being performed and when the same action is being observed.

Martin Lindstrom: Buyology p.54/55

Brodmann area 10

(…) an area in the frontal cortex of the brain called Brodmann area 10 (…) is acivated when we see products we think are ‘cool’ (as opposed to, say, an old Ford Fairlane, or a set of new lug wrenches) is associated with sel-perception and social emotions. In other words (…) we assess snazzy stuff -iPhones, Harleys, and such – largely in terms of their capacity to enhance our social status. So that slinky new Prada dress or that shiny new Alfa Romeo might be just what we need to attract a mate who could possibly end up carrying on our genetic line or providing for us for life.

Martin Lindstrom: Buyology p.64

Somatic marker

The chainlink of concepts and body parts and sensations creates what scientist Antonio Damasio calls a somatic marker – a kind of bookmark, or shortcut, in our brains. Sown by past experiences of reward and punishment, thee markers serve to connect an xperience or emotion with a specific, required reaction.

Martin Lindstrom: Buyology p.131

Manicuring the right rag

Manicuring the right rag — the vertical line of words on ranged-left text. Maximising the space available, but ensuring there are no line breaks or orphaned words that disrupt the flow of reading.


Mark Boulton: Run Ragged

Cognitive disfluency

The key concept (…), explored in depth by the psychologist Adam Alter, author of the book Drunk Tank Pink, is “cognitive disfluency”. When information glides by too frictionlessly, we’re liable to find it harder both to understand and to retain.

When a font’s harder to read, writes Alter, “we assume the task is difficult and requires additional mental effort … We respond by recruiting additional mental resources to overcome that challenge, and our responses tend to be more accurate.” Other studies have found that information received in unfamiliar fonts is memorised more effectively, and that it may be harder to grasp material consumed in e-book form, where the words slide by as if on ice skates, than in print.

Oliver Burkeman: Stop trying to make the web look ‘beautiful’ – I’ve forgotten it already

The Elements Of Emotional Design

The goal is to connect with users and evoke positive emotions. Positive emotions instill positive memories and make users want to interact with your product in the future.
There’s an additional benefit, though. In pleasant, positive situations, people are much more likely to tolerate minor difficulties and irrelevance. While poor design is never excusable, when people are relaxed, the pleasant and pleasurable aspects of a design will make them more forgiving of problems within the interface.
Below is a non-exhaustive list (based on personal observation) of ways to induce these positive emotions. Of course, people will respond to things differently depending on their background, knowledge, etc., but these psychological factors should work in general:

  • Positivity
  • Surprise – Do something unexpected and new.
  • Uniqueness – Differ from other products in an interesting way.
  • Attention – Offer incentives, or offer help even if you’re not obliged to.
  • Attraction – We all like attractive people, so build an attractive product.
  • Anticipation – Leak something ahead of the launch.
  • Exclusivity – Offer something exclusive to a select group.
  • Be responsive – Show a reaction to your audience, especially when they’re not expecting it.

Simon Schmid: The Personality Layer

What Are The Top 10 Positive Emotions?

  • Joy – Joy happens in an instant — a perfect moment captured when all is just exactly as it should be. Think of a wonderful holiday morning with the family, an unexpected present that delights you, or seeing the first smile on your infant’s face. What brings you Joy?
  • Gratitude – Gratitude is a moment of realizing someone has gone out of their way for you, or simply feeling overwhelmed with your heart opening, after being moved in some way. With gratitude comes a desire to give in return or ‘pay it forward’ in some way. When did you last experienced deep Gratitude?
  • Serenity – Serenity is like a mellow, relaxed, or sustained version of Joy. Serenity is a peacefulness that comes on a cloudless day, when you realize there’s nothing you have to do. Serenity is indulging in a favorite luxury, and being mindful enough to take it in. Serenity is the moment on vacation when you finally let go. Has Serenity crossed your door lately?
  • Interest – Interest is a heightened state that calls your attention to something new that inspires fascination, and curiosity. Like a shiny new toy to capture your imagination, interest is alive and invigorating. Interest wakes you up, and leaves you wanting more. What Interests you these days?
  • Hope – Dr. Fredrickson describes it best: “Unlike other emotions that arise out of comfort and safety, hope springs out of dire circumstances, as a beacon of light. Deep within the core of hope is the belief that things can change, turn out better. Possibilities exist. Hope sustains you and motivates you to turn things around.” The inauguration of President Obama brought me Hope. What brings you Hope?
  • Pride – Ever done something really well that took a little time and effort? Maybe you reached a goal you never thought was attainable? Then pat yourself on the back with unadulterated Pride. Stand back, take that deep breath and let it in — you earned it. What have you done that made your proud?
  • Amusement – Think of amusement as those delightful surprises that make you laugh. It’s those unexpected moments that interrupt your focus and crack you up. It’s a great feeling to have amusement sparkle out of the doldrums and instantly change your perspective. Have you had any amusement in your life recently?
  • Inspiration – Inspiration is a moment that touches your heart and nearly takes your breath away — or takes in your breath, as the word literally translates. Inspiration whispers between the strands of your hair, as you watch a perfect sunset, witness academic or athletic excellence, or observe unexpected triumphs over adversity. What brings Inspiration in your life?
  • Awe – Awe happens when you come across goodness on a grand scale, and you feel overwhelmed by greatness. Awe is triggered when we are faced with the vastness of Nature, or the cosmos. Gazing at the Milky Way and counting the stars, or standing at the top of the Grand Canyon triggers awe. Have you had a moment of awe lately?
  • Love – Guess what? The list is rigged. Actually, the #1 most frequent positive emotion is here at the bottom. Love encompasses all of the above: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration and even awe. Love is all that and more. When we experience love, our bodies are flooded with the “feel good” hormones that reduce stress and even lengthen our lives.

Kari Henley in the Huffington Post