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