This week my publications class read in Aaron Walter’s book, “Designing for Emotion,” about designing with emotional engagement. This chapter was very informative. The top three keys I took away was: surprise, anticipate and prime. What does this mean?
Well with any type of design you was your audience to be able to connect with it so your probably have added some personality to it. Now it is time to surprise your audience. It is very interesting that Walter teaches this because I think most would agree that surprises keep you wanting to come back for more to see what else is in store. It is simply very hard to resist when the surprise was pleasant.
Anticipation can be a very hard concept to apply. I think you should anticipate once you know what your audience likes, but it is very important to be careful about what you try to add to a website. Twitter is a good example of this. The makers of twitter decided there needed to be a new interface in hopes of gaining a new audience and to keep those who were already users interested. The makers made a big leap by presenting a new interface but continued to give the audience a chance to keep the old interface unlike its competitor Facebook, which makes users change to the new interface designs. I think that people respond better when given a choice and it somewhat keeps people wanting to use your services when they know they can create it however they want it.
Finally priming is when we send positive emotional experiences and people can deeply engage with it. Walter gave a great example of the mail chimp site. He said that mail chimp added the speech to the chimp and people like it because it was out of the ordinary. He compared this to the old Microsoft Word paperclip, Clippy, who would ask users midway trough their document if they needed help and etc. That got really old and mail chimp wanted their comments to be different were it was more helpful than annoying. This idea was so great, Walter said many people tweeted about it and mail chimp gained exposure because of its talking chimp.
One thing that I totally agree with it the use of open interaction. The gaming world is really capitalizing off of it because people like to be able to create their own fantasies rather than have a closed interaction that lays everything out for you. What I did not agree with was when Walter said that if you have a “when you create emotionally engaging experiences, a marketing budget is no longer necessary.” I think it’s important to have that back-up plan just in case. What if your audience doesn’t like a new step that you’ve taken and your company starts to get less attention. You have to figure out a new way to engage.
Overall this was a very interesting chapter and I think it is worth the read if you’re interested in learning about how to emotionally engage with your audiences.
Originally posted at Tori Beechum - PR Pubs
I was most interested in the section of this chapter that dealt with the personal touch. Getting a had written letter has always been a delight for people but the more communication become digital, the more that personal touch will matter.
It almost seems like getting something personalized means more now just because it is so rare. To get something personal from a digital source like Wufoo is particularly striking. The irony of it almost strengthens the impact.
In the sports world it would be great if you could track the users on your site and email list who most interact with your communications, or maybe who donate the most money or buy the most tickets and write them a note like the one Wufoo sent out. Getting something like that from the athletic director or a coach would mean a lot to a fan and cement the loyalty of an already valuable user.
The chapter also sent a lot of time discussing the mail chimp mascot and it occurred to me that athletic departments are missing out on a chance to use their mascots in a similar way. OU could use their pony mascot in a similar way to mail chimp to personalize and humorize peoples’ interactions on the site. I would imagine they could get similar reactions that mailchimp got. They may even get more positive responses because people are way more emotionally tied their favorite sports teams than they are to a web site. This is definitely an idea that I am going to hang onto for the future.
Originally posted at Wes Moody PR Publications
This chapter in Aaron Walter’s Designing for Emotion has all to do with how to engage the audience emotionally. I found this chapter very interesting because it talk about a way to think about the designs you create in a new way. In this chapter Walter talks about the emotion or surprise or delight as useful tool to make your designs more memorable for the user. When a user finds something by surprise they connect that positively to what they are using. He used the example of Photojojo’s website to show this. On this website there is a lever that says “Do not pull,” which of course makes the user want to click on it and then it shows the description of whatever product they are looking at. I found this so clever! The use of reverse psychology and creativity turned something that could have just been typed to the side of the picture into something memorable.
Another thing this chapter talked about was priming, which is when a person is exposed to a stimulus that in turn shapes their response to another stimulus. The example he used was when Twitter was about to launch the redesign of the “New Twitter” and how they went about changing their users perceptions of the changes. First the creative director gave a sneak peak of the new design, which in turned sparked a lot of conversation. Then when the design was released only certain users had the ability to use it first, which created even more anticipation for the users who didn’t have it yet.
I am looking forward to learning how to incorporated both emotional engagement in my designs and how to prime my audience to be as enthusiastic about my designs as I am. I know it will take work and some failures like it says in the book. But with time I hope to be as creative and successful as the examples in this chapter.
Originally posted at Mary Morton- PR Publications Course