Jakob Nielson’s 10 principles of interaction design are crucial and helpful for designing interactions. however, he is missing a fundamental principle – emotion. We all have emotions. We are biologically programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And this pursuit is a motivating factor in every aspect of our lives. In fact, emotions are the driving force behind 50% of all buying decisions.
So, when we design digital interactions, shouldn’t we take into consideration emotion? Interactions should be created to spark joy, make us feel delighted, or even add a bit of fun to the experience. The principle of designing for emotion has to be intentional. It can’t be an afterthought, or it won’t be authentic.
Here are a few examples of some of my favorite digital experiences that deliver on emotion.
Rock on – Mailchimp
Sending a mass email always causes a bit of anxiety, no matter how many times you have done it. When you hit schedule or send, you are still nervous that you missed a spelling error or a link was wrong. In Mailchimp, you get the below message right after you hit send. It gives you confidence and eases the nerves. Instead of feeling anxious, the message provides a bit of empowerment.
You’ve completed a task – Asana
Asana puts the average to-do list to shame. It’s a project management tool that makes priorities fun. When you complete a milestone within a project, Asana rewards you by sending a different mythical animal across your screen. It makes the act of completing a task even more exciting. This small design in the system wasn’t necessary, but as a user, I look forward to milestones so I can see which new creature parades across my screen.
Digital experiences are becoming more intuitive, easy to use, and straightforward. But we can’t forget that on the other side of the device is a human. And humans inherently seek pleasurable experiences. In order for us to take digital experiences to the next level, they need to evoke positive emotions from user. So, next time you start building a new experience, add emotion into your 10 principles!