Emotional Design

The Maslow Equation

Product has to be functional, reliable and usable (in that order) before a layer of pleasure can be applied. Emotional design, then, is the pleasurable layer that you put on top of a functional, reliable and usable product.

Great Example: Threadless’ shopping cart is sad when it’s empty, but when you feed it, it becomes happy. This detail will probably make you smile; even if you don’t end up buying anything, you’ll remember it for making you look twice.

Threadless Cart

Key Concepts:

  • Positivity
  • Surprise
    Do something unexpected and new.
  • Uniqueness
  • Attention
    Offer incentives, or offer help even if you’re not obliged to.
  • Attraction
    We all like attractive people, so build an attractive product.
  • Anticipation
    Leak something ahead of the launch.
  • Exclusivity
    Offer something exclusive to a select group.
  • Be responsive
    Show a reaction to your audience, especially when they’re not expecting it.

—VIA Smashing Magazine


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