Design for Emotion
Humans have feelings, thoughts, and emotions — we all have them. Some of the best sites, apps, and experiences i’ve seen over the years have been designed for emotion — not simply performing a task but along the way they are coaxing a response. That reaction can be a simple ‘that’s cool’, could be a ‘wow’, or even provoke sobbing into your keyboard.
When film directors are crafting a scene they want their audience to feel something: fear, sorrow, empathy, something. They painstakingly choose the right lighting, sounds, location, set arrangement, and camera lenses to create a scene. In the film world this is known as ‘Mise-en-scène’ and is an integral part of the film aesthetic and feeling.
Now, you might be wondering how this might apply to digital design. Crafting emotional responses may not always be first of mind for the modern digital designer who often wants users to perform task A or task B. Of course this all depends on what we are designing for and the context. However, users are humans too! They are our audience — not just a demographic that happen to be using your site or app. We offer up our own ‘Mise-en-scène’ with UI elements, imagery, type, and interactivity, we create the mood and craft the entire user experience.