Designing Products for Emotional Minds

Product Design for Emotions

Defining personas in the context of user experience design can become a very abstract process. Which may lean you towards measuring success based on appealing only to your ideal customer or supporter. You will be excluding many more users. Many who will think in completely unique ways. But also many who share similar thoughts and feelings.

We are designing products for people with varying degrees of physical abilities and from many walks of life. So how can we build products that allows for a degree of imperfection and uncertainty within our chosen design parameters? Products that are more human.

Appeal To An Instinct For Comfort

Categorisation of interests, culture, profession, location or even age groups are important of course. But people have much more in common when it comes to emotional reactions and technical ability, particularly in the context of navigating a desktop or mobile screen.

The primary focus of experience design is to appeal to a human being’s natural instinct for comfort, clarity and reassurance in a confusing and busy digital context. Your marketing efforts have already done the hard work in getting people to your site and the content itself should be making a connection between brand and demographic.

We All Experience Similar Emotions

Every website user will share similar needs for simple actions and goals, whether purchasing a product or reading an article. The lens through which people navigate the web is the same picture for most of us. We all have everyday frustrations, hopes, excitement or fears. Like crossing a road, actions and responses are similar.

My recommendation is to create user profiles based more on emotional states of mind rather than a particular interest group or lifestyle. And you must also prioritise accessibility and levels of computer literacy.

As a side note…

Your product’s functions and actions should also not be running ahead, rather users must dictate their own pace. Too often websites lack emotional substance and expect people to keep pace with a machine.

But I will explore this further in a future post. In the meantime, thanks for reading.


Photograph by Simon Migaj