The power of emotions and usability by Ross Johnson at WordCamp Chicago. This is an overview with my unique commentary added into the blog. The power of experiences through websites. Sounds a bit like eMarketing Experience.

The first thing is to figure out what the definition of usability is in a website. How a website interacts with the website visitors. When you come to this website, how do you react to this site. Hopefully, you do not have a violent urge to lose your lunch.

The layout of the site, and how it flows is very important. I have had sites in the past that died quiet deaths, because of the fact that I did not organize the site properly. A good wireframe is important.

So, how do we Emotions drives behavior. Logic is used to justify behavior. Think about the fact that we do so much throughout the day with subconscious emotions that we do not realize. Then we use logic to justify the decision after we make the subconscious decision in the first place.

Good example is the aesthetic usability effect, because looking at something pretty with all else equal makes it more usable. Even though there is no difference in a product. You feel more at ease when something is aesthetically pretty, which makes you more susceptible to not over-analyze the product.

How do you manage emotions on a website?

Don Norman’s Emotional Design is a good foundation to this.  He talks about Visceral, Behavioral, and Reflective emotions.

Gut (Visceral)-Our old brain, the most powerful emotions to control through design. They happen really fast, because these are the old survival instincts. Is the site dangerous or an opportunity. You feel uncomfortable in a dark, place. Conversely, in a bright place you feel comfortable.

The reason this is important, is because we are all very similar in our actions and thoughts, because our similar biology. So, if you see an image that is important you it causes a physical reaction. However, small the physical reaction, which will charge their emotions. A picture of your mother will stimulate you more than a picture of a strange woman.

You are putting them in the right frame of mind. Consider Facebook. The entire site works because you see your friends pictures.

Heart (Behavioral)-Take the cost benefit principle mentioned in the presentation. If you feel like you will get more out of an action then you will do it.  This why we like short forms on a website versus long, obnoxious forms. Why fill it out if you do not need to. Make things simple for visitors. Visual Stimuli

Dont read instructions unless we have to, which is why long instructions scare people. How many people read a TOS? Why?

Hick’s Law: The more options you have the longer it will take to make a decision. Therefore, sites with multiple options scare people. While you might get more people to the site, you will see less sales percentage wise.

Head (Reflective):  Validate the conscious emotions, influenced by nostalgia, collective memories, class emotions, etc. Your emotions are different when you think of a Thanksgiving dinner, based upon your up-bringing. happy thanksgiving

How will people remember the site, so will it be a positive or negative experience with the site.  If a site looks prestigious then it will help you feel more prestigious and perception to be in this group.

Customize A Website Based On Users Emotions

Using this combination of emotions and usability will change how you create your site to increase conversions and convey the right branding for your site.