Web Design for Emotion

Good design is more than just making something look pretty. The fundamental purpose behind the concept of design is to create an emotional reaction. In other words, a sign of a good design is something that makes us feel an emotion, be it happiness, excitement or trust.

Whether it’s redesigning a homepage for your jet charter service or building a brand new website for your first line of skin care, every aspect of your design should appeal to the emotions of your specific audience. It’s not just about what you want to say to your customer, it’s about what you want them to feel.


Good Design = Quality

During a recent TED Talk, Don Norman, a former Apple fellow and design guru, pointed out exactly why exceptional design is so important to a product or service. “We all have the feeling that attractive things work better,” he said. In this case, argued Norman, form does not necessarily follow function. He calls this theory “emotional design.” And following the rationale of emotional design, a great-looking website automatically registers with a user as something that works well.

Exude Emotion

Every web design choice—color, type fonts, images and structural elements—should be specially tailored to the emotions of the audience you are attempting to reach. Wh

at type of emotion are all of these elements inciting in your audience? This doesn’t require a whole lot of delving into psychology. It’s simply about understanding the obvious emotional needs of your end user, plus a few fundamentals about good design.

Seeing Red, Blacking Out, Green With Envy

“We respond with happy feelings to bright, lush colors,” said Norman, but if you’re designing a web site for a law firm, you’ll want to focus more on making your clients feel comfortable and confident that you can help them. Formal colors, like black, blues and grays reflect professionalism and competency. An unintimidating, straightforward structural design will make a client feel at ease, not overwhelmed. If you’re interested in learning more about color theory and emotion, check out Smashing Magazine’s “The Meaning of Color.

Modern Feeling

It’s not just about color. Modern design aesthetics are also an imperative part of appealing to emotion. “Products on the market today should offer something that will touch a consumer to the c

ore – viewing the item or perceiving it with the senses should have an emotional effect, says DESIGNSPOTTER, an online modern design resource platform. If you’re a company claiming to use the latest technologies, your website should reflect that with clean, simple, modern design. What this says to a potential client is “Trust us.” Trust is an emotion.

There’s no escaping contemporary design’s impact on human emotion. So, take emotional cues from the product or service you are offering—and most importantly, your audience—and use your website design as a gateway to connect with the emotional needs of your customers.

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