Great Design is more a Play of Emotions Rather than Aesthetics

Aesthetics is a part and parcel of website designs and there is no shying away from designing aesthetics. All those gradients and contrasts do go a long way in making the website what it is, but website design needs something more, the proverbial ‘x’ factor that can help it stand out – In one word ‘emotions’.

The design must be able to project emotions. The levels of passion and excitement generated by the website’s design, determines its popularity and efficiency. Emotions are an integral part of our lives, and a number of decisions that we make daily are an outcome of focusing on one particular emotion and ignoring the rest. It is no secret that the human mind remembers only those things that have elicited powerful reactions. So, logic and undisputed fact says that a website should provoke strong reactions, but of course of the positive kind; and for this to happen, designing emotions, is the key.

Now, I know you might be saying to yourself “Emotions are all very well, but what about usability?” Sit back and think about it for a second. Will you only use a website if it’s usable? Aren’t you looking for something else from a website? As a user, if you experience a measure of happiness while using a particular website, emotions are the key. A website needs to be a joy to use, so much so that a website visitor simply cannot let it go. They want to continue browsing, even after they have got all the information they wanted.

So, creating emotions is the key.

How do you create emotions?

Don’t be User Interface Design specific when it comes to creating emotions, but what you must be able to do is be user specific. The key to creating emotions lies in understanding the target audience that’s going to use your website. Focus on perception of the design and not just the design elements. You need to identify the typical people who will come to your website, their feelings when they visit the site and how your design can help cheer them up.

Now, what is that one emotion that can make or break a website?

It is desire. So let’s talk about it.


Your design can create fantastic levels of desire amongst the website visitor. This emotion is an important driving force, especially, if the site is selling products and services. In such cases, the website visitor must be made to desire the products and services on the site. One of the simplest ways of doing this is making use of clear, high resolution images of products that show them in the best possible light. When it comes to encouraging desire through website design, nothing beats the Apple’s page for the iPhone and the iPad. One look at the page and you want to buy the device.

A website only looks desirable if it’s beautiful, accessible, uncluttered, has high levels of visual sharpness, uses an extremely attractive color combo and makes excellent use of negative space.

It’s not just Desire that Works Big Time

Desire as an emotion will only work if you are trying to sell something, which most websites usually do. But, what about some of the other websites that are performing a slightly different function, say the website of a charitable organization? Well, in specifically this case ‘sympathy’ works wonders. If the website design of a charitable organization elicits sympathy from website visitors, it can be deemed successful. Such websites need to instill a sense of sadness in the visitors, with use of relevant images, which helps them make sales.

At the end of the day, emotion designing is a marketing tactic. It is the art of designing in way such that it encourages legitimate sentiments that ensure better sales. Think of emotions as crucial triggers that encourage the website visitor to take a positive decision regarding the information offered on the website.

How do you portray emotion with your websites? Do you make use of simple elements or do you take the wild side approach with colors and images?

Hazel Raoult works for PLAVEB, a Los Angeles, California based Web Design and Custom Software Development Company that offers ecommerce website design, flash web design and many more web and mobile related services for clients across diverse business domains. She has proven expertise in writing on different themes that includes internet marketing, project management, communication skills and many more.