The Elements Of Emotional Design

February 3, 2014

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

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