Understand what Emotional Design is and how to apply it to your website – WAU
Emotional Design is a concept created from the understanding that when we come into contact with any product, we add senses to it and its characteristics in an unconscious way. Don Norman, creator of Emotional Design, says there are three emotional levels: visceral, behavioral and reflective.
Have you ever stopped to think what makes things good or bad? Or why do people love or hate something?
Emotions play a crucial role in the human capacity to understand the world and how we handle things.
For example: an aesthetically beautiful or pleasant object may appear more effective because of its virtue of appearance or sensual appeal.
The fact that we have more affinity for an object that we like, is because we immediately build an emotional connection with it.
A beautiful and attractive product can make users overcome usability problems, believing that it works better.
What if you could use knowledge about human emotions on your website or in promoting your product or service ?!
In this post we will teach you a little more about emotional design and how it can help you sell better your company’s products and services.
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What is Emotional Design
To simplify, let’s start with an example:
There are millions of online website and blog creation platforms for your business, for example.
And most of them already offer you options of interfaces or ready-made templates.
There are also a huge amount of guides and books on how to create online design on the web, however, none of them will tell you how to create a website impress visitors in such a profound way, that they will want to return.
The answer is simple! You must evoke emotions from these visitors, emotions like:
- surprise (pleasant);
- attention (a suggestion to help).
Pleasurable and simple things work best.
All of these (and more factors) are the basis of emotional design.
There are probably utensils around you that are not necessarily the best at what you do. However, they are significant to you. Therefore, you feel some connection with them.
Connections are powerful, they affect you, unconsciously, and have the ability to turn objects into the individual’s vocational extensions.
Don Norman’s emotional marks
In his book “Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Objects”, Don Norman relates three emotional levels that a product needs to achieve or design to be successful.
He explains these three levels of design in a video, in a lecture at TED, and according to his look, beauty, fun and pleasure, reflect on the design that makes people happy.
In the video he tells, for example, about a juicer that … Oops! He doesn’t use it to make juice!
He actually bought a gold-plated version, which came with a strip of paper saying “Don’t use it to squeeze fruit. The acid will damage the gold blade ”.
Then he also tells of a Japanese knife, whose design he finds sensational and great to look at.
It also has functionality, it is super sharp, “a delight to use”. What makes it beautiful and functional.
It also explains why a clear design is especially good, like the MINI Cooper car.
According to the New York Times, “it is a car that has a lot of flaws, but it is a lot of fun to drive it.”
Also, if you look inside the car, the design is all fun, round and clean. In addition to the controls working perfectly.
Now let’s better explain the emotional levels that the design should reach:
The water bottle. Usually when you buy a bottle of water, any one (except for the difference if it has gas or not) is the same.
But in some cases, we buy for the bottle packaging. And, when the water runs out, people don’t throw it away, keep the bottle for decoration or to fill it with more water, which proves that it is not for water.
You buy by visceral experience. It is a subconscious level.
The behavioral level is the average level of processing. It is also subconscious, a level of automatic behavior that we are not aware of.
Here, the ability and the pleasure of carrying out a task from start to finish, without interruptions, are taken into account.
That is feel in control.
Remember what we said above about the Japanese global knife? We can exemplify here why it is so good to use. You are in control of that action.
Soon, account the usability of the product, its effectiveness, and the understanding of use.
Behavioral design is to leave the user in control, it is the answer that the product gives regarding its effectiveness and usability.
This is the superego level. A part of the brain that doesn’t control what you do but still looks at what’s going on around you.
This level concerns build our personality and mirror the image that we want to convey of ourselves. Level that is directly related to social status.
It is the image that the product represents, and how it is helping to build the personality of its consumers.
- Visceral design is described as being superficial, it is related to the appearance of the product;
- Behavioral design reaches a deeper level, it encompasses pleasure and ability to use;
- Reflective design, on the other hand, concerns the intellectualization of the product.
Therefore, the product that manages to reach the three levels has great chances of greater acceptance and user approval.
The logic of human nature is also applied in many examples of emotional design out there, and I bet you haven’t looked at it that way, or at least done an analysis. Want to check it out?
The baby’s gaze, for example, with those big eyes and small nose, evokes the sensation of something special, innocent, fragile …
Looking at the face of a helpless child, you forget all the demands that she asks of you and take care with all your heart. The same logic is applied to designs that use cartoons.
A great example is MAILCHIMP. Who, when completing an email marketing task, for example, and is close to pressing the button to send emails never thought “ahhh, how cute !!” when the monkey’s hand appears giving high five ?!
Or have you noticed the monkey mascot’s eyes and nose?
Well, these are a company’s tactics or principles for create an emotional connection with your audience.
Want another very classic and good example? FUSCA’s design is one of them.
This is one of the most successful designs in automotive history. This is due to the fact that his headlights look like eyes and the hood design looks like he is smiling at you.
This makes many Beetle owners feel a personal connection with him.
This situation is repeated on sites with the main cover with people smiling. You are faced with these images and want to smile too, right?
You feel that that product or service makes people feel happy, which makes you want to buy.
There are several brands and different ways for them to portray or express their personality, putting emotions into their design.
Why does design help your company sell more?
Well, I believe that there is no longer anyone who doubts the importance of design to stimulate the consumer.
Design is present from the conception of the product, in its usability, to its colors and shapes and, of course, in the company’s communication in any type of media.
The design must also fulfill some functions such as:
- Attract audiences
- Enchant you with images
- Inform you with strategically placed texts
- Take you the decision to buy
This goes for graphics and pieces such as flyers and stationery, magazine ads, as well as the design of websites, films, and various other electronic media formats, such as ebooks and infographics.
For this purpose, the designer uses a series of components such as colors, typography, images and shapes.
Imagine the 1940s, for example. At that time, market shelves were filled with practically identical products and very simple labels.
There was no brand of rice, there was only rice, for example.
The competitive advantage, later, was the design. The tool chosen to help.
The design of the product and service will depend on the image and personality that the company wants to convey, and take into account which persona it wants to reach.
In other words, the emotional design can also help your business connect much better with your audience.
This is all studied and addressed in the plan by the professional graphic designer you hired. And that is the kind of decision that will help your company sell more.
The design will influence the purchase decision, as it can and should trigger an emotional process, making that user love your product.
Ideas to make your site more pleasant to the user
Now that you know about the levels of Emotional Design and what they mean, it’s time to apply it to your business or service by compiling it all.
It is very important that you make a good impression at first sight on your website. (Remember the saying that she is the first to stay?)
These initial impacts on a product according to its appearance are what constitute the first stage. From there, the idea of good or bad, safe or dangerous, etc., is formulated.
Make people feel good and have a positive impression.
This should be planned according to your persona and the specific reaction you expect from her. This works so that the shot doesn’t backfire.
Understand the need for these users and the experience they want and will have on your site. The interfaces need to be simple, deductible and clean. We have already said here that a good user experience is essential for a positive emotion.
After that, it is important for the visitor to evaluate the message you want to convey with your brand and your website, and relate to your values.
Suggest something specific to your niche. Use personality to convey humor and empathy for users.
Minimize any inconvenience that your user may have on your site by using humor, as it can help to disguise small constraints and bring positive and pleasant feelings to visitors.
This allows you to be remembered in a good way.
Finally, follow these tips and put your mark on people’s lives.
Did you like it? You can start implementing emotional design in your digital marketing strategy today.
How about learning a little more about how to increase your sales? We show you in this post here!