Creating Great Websites By Designing For Emotion


Let’s face it-design is the first thing users notice when they open a website. All of the following interaction will depend on that first impression.

This is exactly why designers try so hard to make outstanding designs that can get to their users’ hearts. Every website/logo design both printed and digital aims to touch a human emotion.

It is easy to neglect this fact-today’s interaction pays too much attention to conversion and SEO and not so much on design.

What is even worse, many choose to neglect the fact conversion rates are absolutely dependent on quality design. How otherwise can you get to the next level with your customers? How can vendors make users like their products?

Great design is always related to emotions-great designers know this quite well!

Designing For Emotion

Emotions are the essence of strong brand identity. Successful businesses rely significantly on the way people perceive them. They always look for the ultimate visual experience which can capture even the smallest feeling related to their brand.

Take banks as an example-they tend to capture trust, optimism and friendliness. Sports, on the other hand, make use of thrill and excitement and they work with our own preferences. There are many other examples that can clarify the importance of emotions.

Emotions are the bridge between businesses and their customers. They are the ultimate conveyors that can touch our hearts.

Designing for Emotion

Designing For Emotion

For as long as you analyze it, emotions have a decisive impact on your brand’s identity. Even the best among web and logo designs accomplished their purpose capturing specific emotions. This is the way the work-sport sites will make you feel exited and determined, while medical ones will help you feel protected, positive, and healthy. These designs send positive vibes to their audiences.

We are humans and we tend to connect our visual experiences with particular effects of previous experiences stuck on our mind. Remember Frank Chimero’s most famous quote? People will only ignore the design that had ignored them! Emotionless designs will not attract attention, so why not trying?

How to inspire an emotion?

Designing For Emotion

Sounds spiritual, but you can touch people’s hearts in many different ways. Let us give you an example.

If your company has strong values and emotional qualities it wants to make them very obvious, there are a few steps to take.

The market will reveal which are the driving emotional forces of your target groups (their wishes, needs, positive experiences or negative frustrations such as fear). It is up to you to decide how to present your product to attract the positive ones. However, we advise you to test the target audience before presenting anything.

Designing For Emotion

You and only you can make stuff really personal. You can search for inspiration in yourself. You can determine what you would want as a customer and you can try to establish the right connection with your clients. At the end of the day, we all want the same qualities in a particular product.

These guidelines are effective only if applied combined. They need to be considered carefully because if one of them is missing, there is a chance you’d end up looking like a manipulator.

Bringing emotions in web design

Designing For Emotion

Start from scratch. Think properly and understand the purpose of the company you’re working for. Get to know their target audience and make a research. For instance, if the audience is kids, give them an interesting and colorful experience. Avoid philosophy and modernism-kids simply like what they like. They need to rely on you and their words can hardly get to them.

As a designer, you’re standing right on the middle between the business idea and the audience’s feelings. It is up to you to establish a balance and to satisfy both sides.

Steps for creating emotions

Designing For Emotion

Emotional web design may look like a confusing conception, but the truth is that it’s very simple. It’s all about becoming friends with your clients and to turn your web design into a welcoming home.

Emotional relationships can be created in many ways. Companies seem to be very creative in this aspect-they develop recognizable signs (mascots, logos) and they ‘renovate’ their sites to make them look more personal. Some of them even introduce their work verbally, through creative emails telling engaging stories with a friendly tone.

Designing For Emotion

The fist idea is to make people feel like they know you forever. Once they start feeling comfortable with your website’s ideas, they will sign up for emails and they will make purchases. In order to arrive to this point, you have to turn them into your friends and to inspire some life into seemingly soulless items.

Emotions are not always pretty

Designing For Emotion

True story! Emotions can turn ordinary visitors into loyal customers with a single experience. This was not always true-there was a time when efficiency and functionality were so rare, that no one would trade them for emotions.

The first emotional experience matters because it is our longest-lasting memory. Sometimes, design is so emotionally profound that it makes people think there is an actual person on the other end of the line.

Emotions reveal the full potential of modern web design. Let’s take a look on how outstanding websites are designing for emotion and pull some ‘emotional guidelines’ out:

Most important elements of emotional design

Designing For Emotion

You’re only looking for positive emotions such as: Happiness, Pleasure, Pleasant surprises, Attention, Optimism (interesting messages and down-to-earth promises),
Particularity (what you offer is targeted to a specific group, and no other groups shall have access to it.

People like feeling united on uncommon matters) and also trust (people like strong presence and reliability).

Ending thoughts

Designing For Emotion

While trying to make the perfect emotional design, we leave technicalities aside. We are no longer artists-we are friends and humans, who understand basic needs and like to socialize.

Lack of emotion is an often-met reason for design failure. Yes, it happened even to the most sophisticated designs-they failed to respond their customers’ emotional requests. Leave the technical, business and trade side to the sub consciousness and become a craftsman-your own emotions will be your tool and your guide.

Designing For Emotion

There are many reasons to stand in favor of emotional design. First of all, creativity can always help us create attractive products. Emotions can also find the solution of our problems, if transformed into nicer feelings of happiness and hope.

This shows the tight connection between visual design and human cognitive processing. The connection has three levels: A visceral level (what we see and how we perceive that); a behavioral level (can this be used); and reflective level (are we satisfied, is it a positive experience and how will we remember it). A good designer should also take care of hopes, expectations and needs in order to estimate how to maximize the positive impact of his design.

Designing For Emotion

Never confuse design with style. They have nothing to do with each other. Quality designing is not prescribed shaping or filling. It is about placing the right thing at the right spot in the right time. We could even call it ‘the renaissance approach for combining technology with cognition, needs and beauty’ and the ‘ultimate tool for providing things you didn’t know you needed’. It is simply perfect.

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