Emotional Intelligence Applied To Design

Digital & Innovation | 10th November 2015

Until recently, the applicability of the study of emotions was mostly limited to the neuroscience or psychology context. But today we can affirm that, like all experiences, advertising and digital media have influence on our emotions. The text of Beth Dean, "Emotional Intelligence in Design", invites us to reflect on these same topics. This article presents some points identified by Dean, referring to the emotions in the digital era.

" We do not stop being humans when we are online." 

Beth Dean, designer in Facebook

Five features of emotional intelligence in the digital world

1. Self-awareness

Socrates' words, "know thyself," are always present, but so far no software was created that has feelings. Interacting intelligently and sincerely with users helps create emotional ties. Beth gives as an example the strategy adopted by Facebook: "We ask what ads the users want to see." This is all part of an empowerment strategy: giving users the tools they need to make an informed choice of the experience they wish by filtering possible messages which may interest them. "Whether the designers want it or not, we are building emotional relationships."

2. Self-control

It is always risky to have a neutral software since the intensity of an interaction cannot be quantified. If a user gets annoyed, after finding a number of errors on a page, there is no way of knowing it. It is important to look for new ways to find out the user's preferences.

3. Motivation

The best way to understand the motivations of someone is to change perspective by putting oneself in his place. But this is not always easy: if it is not possible, we should pay attention to what people around us say about a certain business and we perceive the adjectives they use to describe it, because these adjectives reveal the associated emotional charge. It is necessary to understand which emotional link makes them repeatedly visit a page.

4. Empathy

 And humility. No business, that does not admit its mistakes and failures, will be able to correct them. Not always the designers are users of the products they help to create and users often do not make use the way that was expected.  "Only a research can tell us what is really happening."

5. Human skills.

Good content generates good emotions. How many times is a user displeased with a text and does not go back to that page? More than skills, when creating content you need to be human, to have an own and empathetic voice. Should design take the role of friend or teacher? A product may work perfectly in a controlled test environment, but only when it is in the hands of users it is going to be pushed to the limit.

In HI INTERACTIVE, we work to create empathic experiences with positive emotional impact. Make sure you apply emotional intelligence to your project: please: contact us.