Emotional Design 101. Your guide to creating products people love.

by Josh Biggs in Tips on 9th December 2021

How do you create amazing designs that catch people easily? Sometimes you may have excellent skills to design a product, but you feel your designs are backfiring since they would not get accepted accordingly. Emotional design is the concept that makes people get excited when seeing a product or service. 

Emotional designs will arouse feelings, which result in positive user experiences. Perhaps a vintage design will ride people to golden memories of childhood. Why memories of a river, a hill, or your old school drives you to an emotional state? There is no single word to answer. But your perceptions of material things are the reason behind it. So here comes the importance of emotional design.

Every design should send an emotional signal. Despite a designer not putting emotions on a design, the people who view the design evokes feelings and experience emotions. As a designer, you concentrate on users’ requirements in their interactions with your services or products. Aesthetically beautiful objects appear more effective while seeing them. Some are delighted by new complex dashboards since they invoke something different to their feelings. 

Three dimensions of emotional design proposed by Donald Norman considers the Bible of visual experience. Visceral, behavioral, and reflective are the three dimensions of emotional design that emotionally connect people to objects. So, a designer should address these three levels of emotional and cognitive responses when creating a user interface. 

Visceral design

 Your sense organs will trigger when you see an aesthetic design. Visceral design is the automatic derivations of your feelings that produce high intimacy to the product\services. 

It’s the user’s first reaction or first impression when interacting with your design. If you fail to create an aesthetically appealing design, the people will not accept it. But knowing instincts would be hard even if you know individual psychology and design aesthetics. 

When designers give much more attention to the visceral sides of viewers, they can deliver enduring and impressionable value to the design. These quick reactions and judgements of stimuli will change our emotional responses and create a path between behavioral and reflective design. 

“Love and first sight” enable positive interaction with the product and lead to subsequent socialization of the product. Even though emotions are accidental, you can deliberately infuse visceral effects to the product/services. 

You can infuse visceral effects through sensory involvement, beauty, look and feel quick reactions, and feelings. 

Behavioral Design

People only like designs that are easy to handle. Behavioral designs connote the user-friendly side of the design. It is the subconscious level of evaluation to think about how your designs support achieving goals and how easily. 

People are only interested in using a product/service after judging the usability. So, when they get a new product/service, they thoroughly evaluate the quality and user-friendly reflections and decide whether carry or not. 

All love to use a design spending minimum effort. However, if you are creating a Website with elements cluttering the page and un-clickable buttons, people would not be like to use it again. 

The behavioral level of thinking is influenced by the visceral responses and controlled by the reflective group. 

A good behavioral design ensures product performance, usability, functionality, effective and user’s firm opinion. 

Reflective Design 

When somebody gets a design, they will consciously judge its benefits and performance by comparing the value already spent for a similar product/service. Even it’s a new product/service; they will do the same to judge the quality and benefits it may give to them. 

Positive reflections encourage users to share their experiences with others. It also captures users thought processes and will evoke a sense of pride beyond the product. In other words, reflective responses will create emotional bonds, and users will become referral marketers by talking with their friends. 

Reflective designs are the product of the cognitive, intellectual level of thinking influences individuals’ behavior levels, but it has no direct control over the visceral level. 

Reflective designs should infuse meaning of the product, cultural aspects, impacts, and overall marketing techniques. 

When you add your dexterity, you should consider the significance of the emotional   impact of PowerPoint Templates and other types of presentation designs before you share. 

You could apply the four pleasures to emotional design:
1. Psycho-pleasure is related to the satisfaction someone acquires from achieving a task. It is the cognitive demands of using a product/service. As the name suggests, it will emotionally be satisfying and less stressful. A speak printing software design that will give pleasure to content writers is an example of psycho pleasure. 

2. Physio-pleasure is related to the bodily pleasure coming out from sensory organs. For example, it comes out from the sensory feeling when it is used. In emotional design, these pleasures come out from tangible properties, e.g., the taste of chocolate, the smell of leather, a garment, or a new car. 

3. Socio-pleasure is related to the enjoyment derived from social interactions. Product and services can assist build social interaction in different ways. Smartphones, the internet, coffee shops, identity showing clothing help connect with new social relations with same-minded people.

4. Ideo-pleasure: Adding consumers’ aesthetic values to your design will give them ideo pleasure. Value could be theoretical, philosophical, religious, or may relate to political and environmental, embodied in products. 

Final word

Humans are emotion-driven, even if we always talking about logic. Our perception and learning are not completely logical. Emotion plays a vital role in taking quick decisions. Our learning and interpretations encounter emotional overlapping than logical understanding. This is the base of emotional design. If someone feels your design is a personal extension of their aesthetics and experience, they will be ready to use your product/services. 

Categories: Tips