Emotional Design: rethinking the job of Web designer?

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Is Emotional Design becoming a new strong trend for the creation of digital interfaces? Emotional design is a new trend in the creation of objects or interfaces that seeks to offer an enriched user experience in order to trigger emotions. How to humanize websites and mobile applications? How to give the impression of establishing a dialogue between the interface and the users? What are the limits?

The rapid evolution of information and communication technologies creates new expectations among users, both in terms of design and ergonomics. On a web project, the concept of "Emotional Design" is a strong trend consisting in instilling emotion through a graphic interface from its conception. 

The main objective is to hold the visitor's attention by arousing emotions and thus transforming his visit into an experience in its own right.

To meet user requirements, an interface must be functional, optimized and secure. But the technical dimension of the site is not everything. In order to capture the full attention of the future visitor to the site, it is important to anticipate this experience.
If the web interface must correspond to the company's image, it must also convey a feeling, thus creating a link of its own. Emotional design therefore refers to human feelings.

The objects we use may or may not generate emotions depending on the personality of each person. We choose them, we appreciate them, not only for the role they play, but also for the sensations they give us.

Use emotional design appropriately. Most often, emotion passes through small visual details or simple functions that appeal to the primary reflexes of the brain. Whether it is through a particular tone in texts ("I" for example) or an illustration or even interactive and fun features, it is necessary to appeal to the sensitivity of Internet users by mobilizing innate rather than acquired reflexes and thus elicit a quick, commonly shared and positive response.

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Emotional design is not easy to implement, a graphic knowledge of the advertising field is necessary. The implementation of emotional design can be done gradually, by modifying certain elements that will make sense or by going through a total redesign to create a real effective dynamic.

In case of creation or global redesign of a website, it becomes necessary to think about it by integrating an Emotional Design work well upstream in order to give the site more impact from its conception. Emotional design changes over time, it is refined and evolves as techniques and habits evolve.

For example, the use of grids (structures based on optimal proportions) in web design illustrates the evolution of creation techniques in the face of new uses (responsive design).

In responsive design, designers use grids to determine the size and distance between elements and the different proportions in the page design. These rules apply equally to the layout in print, photography and design.
One of the strong constraints limiting grids on the web is precisely the absence of well-defined limits on these two dimensions.

On a website, each page may have a different height or width, or even no limit at all. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the layout grid is expressed in "screens" to remain consistent throughout the site and not in a single part of it.

Divine proportion. Design is not subjective, there are rules that govern the harmony of objects, interfaces, etc.. The design of Apple's or Twitter's interfaces are based, for example, on mathematical figures whose proportions are generated from the golden ratio and which contribute to this sense of harmony.

From this, we can draw a golden rectangle, or a golden spiral, as in the image opposite. This golden number, also called "Phi" (φ = (1 + √5)/2 = 1.61803398875...), has been fascinating for more than two thousand years. Even today, you only have to type "golden mean" on Google to be struck by the diversity of sites that have adopted it. It has been proven that the human brain unconsciously recognizes this ratio, which is found everywhere, in nature but also in many works of art, in architecture, philosophy, spirituality, economics, mathematics and... design.

Thus, our design professions must address users directly in order to arouse emotion. By flattering the senses it is therefore possible to increase the efficiency of a site, to increase positive feedback and thus maximize its visibility on the web.

The example of the Jouve Interactive Agency proves the necessary expertise in the ergonomic design and artistic creation of user interfaces, information portals and e-commerce sites. This agency is a forerunner in new modes of distribution and improves the user experience whatever the chosen medium. Mobility, responsive design, accessibility: the integrated interactive agency takes into account the new uses of the web to design sites and business applications, on all delivery modes: mobile phone, tablet, classic desktop?

About Jouve

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The Jouve Group designs, enriches, enhances and distributes content on all media. At the forefront of technology and expert in new uses, Jouve reinforces the agility and competitiveness of its customers in the digital era. Its offer of services is unique: consulting, design and enhancement of enriched and multimedia content, leader in the production of digital books, dematerialisation of document flows, IT Solutions, secure outsourcing of business processes, multi-channel distribution and optimisation of print supply chains. www.jouve.com

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