Emotional Design Principles Build Meaningful Brand Interactions

Emotional Design

We recently came across an older, but interesting article about the use of emotion in design.

The piece takes us through the premises of two books on website user interface design, “Emotional Design” by Don Norman, and “Designing for Emotion” by Aaron Walter.

We were drawn to this recap of Norman’s 3-level approach to creative design:

  1. The visceral level – the appearance of a design
  2. The behavioral level – how the product works
  3. The reflective level – the long-term impact of the design

By combining these three levels in the right way, Norman says you can make a website design…

Appealing – Grab the user’s attention and influence their perception.

Effective – Guide the user’s attention and make sure they find what they are looking for.

Pleasurable – Allow the user to appreciate your website and have fun.

Memorable – Build a relationship with the user and ensure a positive memory of you.

What’s Good For Your Website Is Good For Your Brand

Norman’s work is an important reminder that good design – and good branding – is more than skin-deep.

Indeed, we elevate ideas like these to the entire brand experience, in which emotions can be effectively evoked to create more meaningful connections between brands and people both inside and outside a brand.

In our world, meaning flows from four emotionally-based brand aspects: Aesthetics (look and feel), Discourse (story/voice), Functionality (how it works) and Associations (references outside the brand).

The goals are the same: create a meaningful presence (visceral), help people navigate the brand experience and make the experience emotionallly meaningful (behaviorial), and finally, make the brand personally significant, and therefore, memorable (reflective).

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.

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