Emotional design in UX and in the design of digital applications and websites.

Jinwook Yun
Jinwook Yun

In a world where attention is scarce and competition is fierce, emotional design can make all the difference. The importance of emotional design is therefore also taking on more and more space in the UX area. Users no longer expect pure functionality from websites and applications, but they are looking for experiences that touch them and stay in their memory. Combining emotions with UX and content marketing creates a unique opportunity to build deep connections with users and make brands memorable.

In this article, we will reveal the psychology of emotions and shed light on the role of emotional design in user experience (UX) and content design for digital applications and websites. 

The psychology of emotions and emotional design

Studies have shown that people often act based on emotional reactions and only rationalize later. By understanding these psychological underpinnings, designers and marketers can target emotions to create a deeper connection with users. Emotions are an integral part of our human experience and influence how we act, react, and remember things. But precisely because UX and content design are often considered separately, there is often a shortage of time to build an understanding of user psychology. 

Understanding these psychological fundamentals, however, is precisely how designers and marketers can target emotions and make a deeper connection with users.

Emotional design in the UX

Emotional design in user experience goes beyond purely functional design. Colors, typography, imagery, layout, and interactions can be used to convey emotions and create specific moods. 

Bold and flashy colors or warm tones; hectic and dynamic or more gentle transitions. The text and image design also conveys a certain energy of our application and therefore our brand. 

Integrating emotional elements into the user journey can help users not only feel comfortable, but also build a deeper connection and perception of the brand.

What can a practical implementation of emotional design in UX and web design look like? 

Be careful with emotions! What seems pleasant or touching for you or your boss is not necessarily so for your users. "We are not our users" is what we always say at Uhura Digital.

So, as is often the case, a strategic approach helps:

1. As always - understand your users and target audiences. What is particularly relevant? Identify emotional trigger points and document them.

2. Define tonality and enforce it consistently. Try to keep the aspect on the agenda throughout a project and align content, visual language and "tone of voice", microcopies. Content from other departments or from external sources may not appeal to the desired emotions.

3. Create emotional highlights in the user journeys. Show moving results of a success story and not only the efficiency gain or cost savings. An image and a suitable caption, for example, help to stage emotional and factual content.

4. Emotion that is not authentic does not work. Avoid superlatives that are not believable, speak like your target audience. Trust is the currency that matters.

5. Try to learn from users and integrate analytics and metrics into your projects to verify initial hypotheses.

Considering emotional design in and UX/UI projects like app and websites, offers opportunities to stage a comprehensive brand experience also in digital products or to increase conversions and customer loyalty. But also consider challenges: cultural differences, respect for users and the right balance between emotion and function, are typical stumbling blocks when creating emotional design in UX and UI. 

If you want to know more about how we at Uhura Digital incorporate aspects of emotional design in web design projects, get in touch or just give us a call.

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