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The art of emotion in web design: How to increase emotional engagement

Posted by Kevin Fouche on Sep 14, 2016
Kevin Fouche

Within the first few seconds they click on your website, people will experience an emotional reaction to it. If they decide to stick around and look through your site more closely, they'll continue experiencing emotions and connecting your business to what they're feeling. So how can you master the art of emotion in Web Design?

The art of emotion in web design: How to increase emotional engagementWhen you've mastered the art of emotion in web design, you learn how to build a website that engages with people on multiple levels. You'll have a better chance of positively influencing both their immediate, unconscious emotional reactions and the feelings they reflect on when they think about your business. Even without fully knowing why, they'll choose to stick with you.

The following are four major ways to increase emotional engagement on your site:

1) Minimise frustration

Make sure that annoyance and frustration aren't the dominant emotions people feel on your site. Negative emotions tend to strongly overshadow the positive ones. If your site loads too slowly, if it's difficult to navigate, and if error messages and broken links keep cropping up, potential customers will probably reject you.

2) Stay authentic

Write in a tone that fits with your business personality, and check that you sound human. Use story-telling techniques to show potential customers your unique qualities. Share original content, in your own voice and with your own perspective on things. When appropriate, write with some humour too. People won't want to engage with content that sounds like corporate boilerplate.

As a business, you're offering solutions and reaching out to people, so keep the general tone positive. A negative, insulting, and condescending tone can turn many potential customers away.

Your site's visual elements should also reflect your distinct personality. For instance, in a recent list of recommendations for improving web design, The Huffington Post suggests not using too many stock photos. Customers can often tell that they're generic, and they usually lack the more powerful emotional impact of original photos.

3) Don't overlook any details

Your website can generally be well-designed, but if there's one element on the page that's out-of-place or unattractive, it can subtly turn people away from you and lead them to emotionally disengage from your business. As an example, Hospitality Magazine recently published an article on logo design for restaurants; one of the takeaways is that the subtle details of the logo can help customers quickly relate to you on an emotional level, before they're even conscious of it.

The fonts you choose can make the difference between people perceiving you as professional and trustworthy, or viewing you as amateurish and disconnected from their needs. The kinds of colours displayed on your site convey all kinds of emotions, from excitement to gentle reassurance. The content of your photos, particularly the people in them and their expressions, will also trigger an immediate emotional response.

4) Let them know they're not alone

Display reviews and testimonials from other customers. If someone has given you permission to share a moving personal story related to your business, you can showcase it on your website. Link to your social media accounts, where customers can engage with other people who follow you. Ask for feedback, and demonstrate to customers that you're truly listening to them and are there to serve their needs. Try to make them feel like they're part of a thriving community or an exciting club when they visit your site. People respond well emotionally when they feel like they're welcome and they belong.

Be sure to contact us for assistance with designing your website, so that it has the right emotional impact on your customers. The emotions inspired by your website design depend on how everything comes together - each visual detail and word choice. You can give your customers an overall positive, memorable experience that will make them want to stick with you and become your supporters.

Speak to the Web Design experts at Pixel Fish

Call us today on 02 9114 9813 or email [email protected]


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