Emotion and User Experience


According to Eric Schaffer in his post Beyond Usability: Designing Web Sites for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust (on UXmatters) – persuasive design is the next big thing.

I don’t know about you, but this is nothing new, For me the User Experience of a web site has always been more than the usability or achieving the sites business goals. Some say that we should be telling a story or translating those magical moments in real life onto web. Now in order to do this I would have thought it was a given that we have to engage with people on an emotion level and build trust. After all a good deal of our experiences are at least tinged with our emotions. We are after all emotional beings.

Yes, the influence of emotion and persuasion in the equation is plainly beyond usability.

Eric sees persuasive design as:

…designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust… basis in a deep understanding of customers’ subtle emotional triggers and employs a rigorous set of new, research-based methods and techniques… it is fundamentally more qualitative, deep, and subtle than usability….

As Eric points out there is a distinct need for the ecommerce sector to overcome the traditional marketing model that is currently being churned out with the more understanding the UX focused emotional driven model.

But really this is nothing new also, look at modern real life retail, that is what it is all about now, the overall experience. For example take an exclusive clothing store, the place often has a refreshing smell, with relaxing music, the clothing is placed for easy access, the sales assistants are helpful, but not pushy. Nothing is too much trouble. You feel relaxed, at ease, among friends, there is a emotional synergy, a trust. However false this maybe, the emotion sell is still there. So why should the web be any different, granted the web can be a little old fashioned and behind in some areas.

Still a web site should be designed considering the user and their experience with the site. Isn’t it a given, that you want the experience emotionally to be a good one, one that will build a loyalty, a degree of trust.

So it follows that by engaging with people emotional with the user experience of the web site will, if done right, have some persuasive influence on the final outcome. Ethics on the matter aside. Hasn’t this been the heart of UX all along.

What do you think I’m I right, or is this persuasive design the next big thing?

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