What is emotional design?
Emotional design is the concept of how to create designs that evoke emotions which result in positive user experiences.
Before people can love an experience, they must first desire that experience. This could be through marketing or how you present the experience.
The 3 levels
Design operates on three levels in the brain: visceral, behavioral and reflective, respectively:
- Visceral (Attractiveness, feelings and first impression)
Users’ gut reactions to or their first impressions of your design; e.g., an uncluttered user interface suggests ease of use.
- Behavioural (Usability, functionality and performance)
Users subconsciously evaluate how your design helps them achieve goals, and how easily. They should feel satisfied that they’re in control, with minimum effort required.
- Reflective (Meaning, experiences and memories)
After they encounter your design, users will consciously judge its performance and benefits, including value for money. If they’re happy, they’ll keep using it, form emotional bonds with it and tell their friends.
How to apply
To apply emotional design, you first need a functional product and understand your users through UX Research.
(Interaction Design, 2020)