Why you need to put emotion into your UX design

Imagine yourself walking into a newly-opened neighborhood coffee shop. You love drinking coffee—from the soothing aroma to the unmistakable bitter taste. You also enjoy comfortable couches, sunset-colored lighting and soft jazz music. Indeed, the coffee shop ambiance speaks directly to your caffeine-loving heart.

Coffee shops are insanely popular hang-out spots for millennials. One reason beyond coffee is the interior design that brings out a hip yet cozy feeling. Yes, it’s all about the emotions elicited by putting together various elements: the lighting, the wall color, the furniture and the music.

Building an inviting place, whether digital or physical, requires the meaningful use of emotions.

UX design, or user experience design, is an essential business tool. A study published in the Oxford Journals defines UX design as a means “to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty through the utility, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction with a product.” Simply, UX design is a process of determining the kind of experience a customer will have while interacting with a product.

Here are five essential reasons why you need to put emotion on your UX design.

You are dealing with humans

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Experience and interaction are human concepts. These involve actions or influences enhanced by emotions. An avid book reader doesn’t simply pick a random paperback from a shelf and methodically read words and sentences. He paces along book sections, runs his eyes through titles, meticulously assesses book covers, reads the synopsis and smells the pages. This ritual, which involves various emotions, enhances a bookworm’s user experience.

The brilliant design of Wordery channels the warm feelings invoked by a physical bookstore. The colours are pleasing to the eye, the texts appear to have been scribbled, and the titles are searchable (instead of having them cluttered on the main page). You’d need to skip the page-smelling habit, though.

You are creating stuff for other people

Laptop user

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Legendary fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” The prolific advocate of the little black dress (LBD) understands women: their needs, their potentials and their aspirations. Coco’s trademark squarish suits addressed the stereotypical “fair and dainty” image of females of her generation.

Designing with emotion requires an understanding of such emotions. Since you are creating for other people, you should know their feelings and sentiments. In Too Faced, pink is the new black. This beauty company is like a press secretary for all women who want to flaunt their femininity. The website is as unapologetic as the brand – pink, pretty and fun!

You are competing for loyal customers


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The importance of UX design cannot be understated. Unless you’re selling crude oil, your product or business must be able to “connect” with your customers. This is the only way you can build a strong client base. You should have something to keep them coming back. An emotional design does just that.

An article by Propelrr emphasizes the need to impress. The market is flooded with mobile applications, there’s essentially an app for every aspect of social life: dating, vacation planning, restaurant/bar searching, etc. A developer’s challenge is standing out from the crowd. Propelrr — a digital marketing agency has an insightful write-up, that offers suggestions on how mobile app creators can apply human interactions and impress users.

You need to make a lasting impression

Art Gallery

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When you visit an art museum, there are pieces that you eye for a few seconds and those that you appreciate longer. The difference lies on the emotions, or the lack of it, that an artwork stirs inside you.

Lucky for you, there is a spectrum of emotions you can use for your website. You can appeal to the user’s fluffy happy feelings or hilarity. Humor, when done with wit and class, can boost traffic to your website. Kenny Meyers, a web designer, smoothly uses humor to connect with his clients, partners and stakeholders. His “mighty” solutions will ensure clients “learn the tradition of a weekend.”

In designing with emotions, aim at making a lasting impression by hitting the right emotion button.

Your honesty is your single most powerful weapon


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You may have heard of the successful marketing campaign of beauty brand Dove. Instead of featuring goddess-like models, the soap maker shows images of unknown women of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and social standing. Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” playing in Dove’s videos is the perfect “cherry on top.” The Real Beauty campaign is relatable. It is honest, thus it is powerful.

The insanely popular Lookbook allows fashion enthusiasts from all over the world to share their own style inspirations. The website is minimalist, allowing the impressive photos to take the center stage. Visitors are free to “hype” each style and give remarks to the unknown model. The website celebrates real-world beauty and fashion.

Honesty is essential in digital marketing. Consumers can see through manipulative brands and marketing campaigns. In crafting content, skip the colorful adjectives. Never attempt to give promises you cannot keep, don’t write about things you don’t fully understand or sweep issues under the rug. Honesty in UX design, as it is in real life, takes a lot of bravery. Wield it like a lightsaber and win in the marketing battleground.

Whether you are putting up a retail store or building your website, user experience should be the north star guiding you where you should be. UX design is a process of understanding your customers like Coco Chanel understood women. It should help boost customer satisfaction and loyalty similar with specialty bookstores and quaint neighborhood coffee shops. UX design must combine utility, ease of use and pleasure while users interact with products like top-grossing mobile apps.

Designing with emotions is key in marketing. You are dealing with humans with different preferences. The competition for loyal customers is high and hitting the right emotion button can help you make a lasting impression. Finally, be honest. Nobody wants anybody playing with one’s feelings.



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