A prudent web designer, amateur or professional, keeps up with web development trends. Emotionally intelligent design is one of the phrases that is coming up more and more often but is often underrated or entirely ignored.
Studies show that the part of the brain that makes rational decisions and the one responsible for emotion is interlinked. This means that the decision of a client to stay on your website or even make a purchase is not entirely rational. This is something that has been understood for a while now and website owners and designers looking for an edge over the competition can tap into emotional intelligence to push them the extra mile.
Essential strategies that can be incorporated into web design for an emotional impact include humor, color, tone of voice, engagement and context. Images are of course important but they are often overplayed. You might need a little more than pretty pictures to hook your audience and outplay the competition.
Jokes, wit and good cheer will win you friends every where you go, including on the internet. Humor is a great way to make your audience feel right at home. The only concern here is humor is rarely universal. What one person may find funny another may deem offensive, especially in these politically correct times that we live in.
A good way to introduce humor to your Ecommerce site is using caricatures that most people would find funny. Try to strike the balance between funny and looking unprofessional or appearing goofy. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot share the image, joke or story with your mother; it probably doesn’t belong on the website.
The idea that color has emotional connotation is well known but is not often satisfactorily applied to web development. Most people identify the basics such as red invokes danger, green for freedom and blue for calm. It is worth noting that color tones have more significant impact compared to the raw colors. Moving in either direction of color tone increases or decreases the intensity of the emotion conveyed.
Note that the emotions and meanings attached to color vary from culture to culture. It is therefore essential that you understand your audience and use color appropriately.
Tone of Voice
Words are great getting your message across. The tone of the words you use is where the reader picks up the nature of your relationship with him. Humor, for example, may not be appropriate if you are telling a serious story or transmitting crucial information. In the same way, a serious tone could hurt your chances of selling a fun product.
Again, it is important for you to understand your audience when coming up with your digital marketing campaign. This largely informs the most appropriate tone to use.
The best way to explain this is to think about alcoholic or soft drinks commercial. There is always something going on in the background; whether it is a couple of friends having a good time or someone enjoying a refreshing drink by the pool. These background activities evoke certain emotions including joy, excitement or relaxation. If you are selling products on your Ecommerce site, think about some context or background you can create such that the viewer sees himself using the product or service.
The sheer number of websites in your niche means that the average web surfer is spoiled for choice. We see this in the average times people typically spend on websites; 10 to 20 seconds. The days of passively consuming content are long over. Web surfers are now looking for something extra, and that something is engagement, entertainment and fun. Depending on your audience and the message you are portraying, videos, games, comment section, and live chat are just some of the tools you can incorporate in your web design to boost user engagement.
People often joke about being a little OCD and there is a bit of truth in that. The brain is always working to create order in a chaotic world. The human brain is constantly working to find patterns. You can leverage this on your website by making it logical and easy to navigate. Ensure that the user is able to move from one section of your website to another seamlessly. Having to look for specific information can be frustrating for the visitor and the competition are just a few clicks away.
Emotional design should be an important aspect of your digital marketing campaign if you want to edge out the competition. This design area is often overlooked or completely ignored but is a simple and inexpensive way to boost your marketing efforts. Pay more attention to these areas and you should see positive improvements in your numbers. Most of all keep your audience at the forefront of your mind and ensure that you are giving them what they actually want. All the emotional design in the world is useless unless your audience can find some real value from the content, product or service you are putting out.